Displaying items by tag: Government
US: The Portland Cement Association (PCA) has supported President Donald Trump’s executive order (EO) on energy independence. The EO instructs federal agencies to review and either revise or withdraw a number of actions taken by the Obama administration, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. The EO also immediately rescinds other federal policies, such as the social cost of carbon figures developed by the Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases.
“The PCA applauds President Trump for revisiting regulations that have a significant impact on the nation’s cement manufacturers, such as those in the EO issued today,” said PCA Executive Vice President Todd Johnston. He added that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan had ‘exceeded’ the agency’s statutory authority and that the social cost of carbon figures were developed without necessary transparency and public input.
Despite supporting measures that rollback environmental policy in the US the EPA said that it and its members were committed to manufacturing products with a ‘minimal’ environmental footprint.
Tanzania: January Makamba, the Minister of State in the Vice-President's Office, Union and Environment, has ordered that the Moshi Cement plant close whilst it implements the recommendations of the National Environment Management Council (NEMC). Following a visit by the council the management of the plant were asked to observe the Environment Management Act of 2004, according to the Daily News newspaper. Recommendations the plant has been asked to take action on include reducing dust emissions at the site.
Haiti: The government has held talks with a Belgian engineering company about plans to build a 2Mt/yr cement plant at Gonaives. The senator for the region, Carl Murat Cantave reported the meeting to the Le Nouvelliste newspaper. Everything is reportedly ready for the launch of the project and the engineering company is set to deliver a schedule of activities shortly. The US$300m cement plant was originally announced in 2015 and the Belgian companies TSE and TPF were lined up to build it.
Philippines: The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has reduced the permit requirements for cement producers and other mineral extractors. Following orders by President Rodrigo Duterte to reduce red tape and redundancy in government the bureau says that cement producers and contractors holding quarry and industrial sand and gravel (ISG) permits are no longer required to secure mineral processing permits (MPP). The change is effective immediately. It has also clarified that the actual production of cement is covered already under the manufacturing sector and does not require an MPP. The MGB added that it is reviewing other existing policies on mining tenement requirements.
India: The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has asked the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to delay a deadline for compliance to emission standards by two years to 2019. New regulations covering emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter for plants that do not co-process alternative fuels were due to be implemented from 31 March 2017, according to the Financial Express newspaper. However, the DIPP says that it doesn’t think that the industry is ready to adhere to them yet.
Switzerland: Jura Cement’s Wildegg plant has been given permission to extend its limestone quarry at Auenstein and Veltheim. However the decision by the Grand Council is subject to adoption by the local communities, according to Swiss Radio and Television. Jura Cement, a subsidiary of Ireland’s CRH, will also need a building permit for the extension. The cement producer previously had expansion plans for its quarry cancelled in 2014.
Ethiopia: Regional officials are demanding that foreign cement producers, including Dangote Cement and Derba Midroc Cement (DMC), should let cooperatives of unemployed young adults run part of their mining businesses. A draft contract drawn up by Oromia state’s East Shewa Zone administration wants the young adults to operate pumice mines for the cement producers, according to Bloomberg. The initiative follows attempts by the national government to alleviate social pressures, following violent protests in the state in late 2016 in response to over alleged land dispossession, political marginalisation and state repression. The local administration reportedly stopped production at the Dangote and DMC plants in early March 2017 while it discussed its proposals with the producers, according to local press.
Indonesia: State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno says that President Joko Widodo is expected to inaugurate Semen Indonesia’s Rembang cement plant in April 2017. Soemarno made the comments following a visit to the plant, according to the Jakarta Post. The inauguration of the plant is dependent on environmental clearance, which should be completed in April 2017. However, the plant has been the focus of intense protests by local farmers and both the Supreme Court and a local government ruled to shut down the plant.
Nigeria: Kayode Fayemi, the Minister for Solid Minerals Development, has commended Dangote Cement’s role in making Nigeria self-sufficient in cement. He said that it was a success story that the country had moved from importing 60% of its cement to meeting local demand with excess available for export. The Cement Manufacturing Association of Nigeria originally declared the country ‘self sufficient’ for cement in 2012.
“We need to collaborate and partner in these areas at this time that government is trying to reduce the dependence on oil. We need to turn around our mineral resources just as in the cement sector. When you look at our solid mineral industry, there is a wide gap between what we can produce and what is consumed. Imports in these sectors is huge,” said Fayemi. He added that the government wants to replicate the success of the cement industry in other non-oil sectors to diversify the economy. He made the comments as part of a tour to the Ibese plant in Ogun State.
Dangote Cement saw its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fall in 2016 as the Nigerian economy entered a recession. Despite this it grew its revenue and sales volumes with an emphasis on growth outside of its home country. The cement producer exported 0.4Mt of cement in 2016. However, the company has also faced allegations of dumping in Ghana.
Zimbabwe: PPC Zimbabwe’s managing director Kelibone Masiyane has said that duty on cement imports has done little to discourage the market. The government introduced a 25% duty on every 100t of imported cement in 2016, according to the NewsDay newspaper. He singled out imports from Zambia as well as those from South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana.
“In addition to liquidity challenges, we continued to face pressure from cheap imports. Government has tried to assist by introducing duty on imported cement, but the reality on the ground is that imports continue to pour in, particularly from Zambia,” said Masiyane. Despite this he added that PPC Zimbabwe was confident that the local economy would pick up in 2017 supported by infrastructure projects.
The Cement and Concrete Institute of Zimbabwe lobbied the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to ban imported cement in 2016. In a paper it suggested including a protection tariff to equate the landed price of imported cement to the cost of the local product, granting of import licences to local producers, cancelling or reviewing all issued permits that are circulating in the country and lowering duty on raw materials.