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Pakistan: Lucky Cement has inaugurated a waste heat recovery (WHR) unit in Pezu, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, its fifth across its operations. The unit generates 10MW from two 2400t/day cement production lines. It was installed by China’s Sinoma.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Muhammad Ali Tabba, CEO of Lucky Cement, as well as other members of the company’s senior management. “As one of the leading cement manufacturers in Pakistan, we have the responsibility to reduce energy consumption and improve the environment. With the launch of our fifth WHR plant, we aim to do just that,” said Tabba.
Written by Global Cement staff
15 March 2017
Philippines: Holcim Philippines posted higher sales despite increased competition in 2016. Its revenue grew by 7.5% to US$801m due to both higher volumes and prices. Operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 14% to US$215m.
The company’s net income reached US$135m, which benefited from a one-time gain of US$52m from the revaluation of Holcim Philippines’ investment in an affiliate. Without the one-off item in 2015, profits were higher by 24% in 2016.
Holcim Philippines Chief Operating Officer Sapna Sood said, “Ensuring stable supply is critical in these times of high building activity. Last year, we demonstrated our commitment to keep the market supplied by raising our production capacity and leaning on our strong regional network. As a result, we showed our customers we are a reliable partner, which helped us compete, even with the entry of new players.”
Written by Global Cement staff
15 March 2017
Sri Lanka: Nandana Ekanayake has been appointed as the chief executive officer of Siam City Cement Lanka. Previously Ekanayake was the Finance Director at Holcim Vietnam and was the Vice President of Holcim Lanka, according to the Daily News newspaper. Thailand’s Siam City Cement purchased Holcim Lanka in mid-2016.
China: China Pioneer Cement, the sole shareholder of Shandong Shanshui Cement, has removed Li Maohuan, Yu Yuchuan, Zhao Liping and Chen Zhongsheng as directors of Shandong Shanshui. In their place Liu Yiu Keung, Stephen, Yen Ching Wai, Chong Cha Hwa and Liu Dequan have been appointed as directors.
Written by Bruno Vanderborght, Lesscoo GmbH
15 March 2017
The Global Cement Weekly column of 22 February 2017 entitled ‘European Union (very) slowly tightens the screws on its Emissions Trading Scheme,’1 bears witness to the misconception that we must choose between protecting the cement industry OR the climate. Quite the opposite is true: the objective is the cohesion between economic prosperity, meeting cement market demand AND lowering CO2 emissions.
It is undisputed that, if climate protection is aspired to, there needs to be an adequate regulatory incentive that supports, perhaps even strengthens, industry’s profitability when companies act to lower their CO2 emission. Some companies have tried selling low CO2-cement at a price premium, marketing their lower embedded carbon. In a commodity market of a grey powder where low prices are a decisive purchasing point, this obviously doesn’t fly.
The only sustainable business incentive is to pass on the full cost of CO2 not only in production but also in consumption of products. This would effectively result in higher cement sales prices for high-CO2 cement and lower prices but higher margins for low-CO2 cement, without losing competitiveness to producers that do not face regulatory CO2 constraints. Hence, a win-win-win situation for low carbon cement producers, consumers and the environment. This is after all the purpose of the sectoral ETS mechanism with inclusion of importers and no free allowance allocation.
The studies undertaken by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) for CEMBUREAU simulated the potential gross margin for the domestic cement industry in case of different leakage prevention mechanisms. While this may sound shocking for some, there is nothing wrong with aiming at maximisation of gross margin. Quite the opposite, gross margin maximisation is absolutely necessary for the cohesion between economic prosperity and climate protection and the effectiveness of an ETS.
The BCG studies led to the conclusion that in case of a tightening CO2 allowance cap and under certain market conditions the importers’ inclusion mechanism can yield the best margin for the industry. Since however, as the Global Cement Weekly column mentions, the EU only very slowly tightens the screws on the supply of emission allowances, there will be sufficient free allocation for industry and there remains little need to lower emissions and thus little need for an importers’ inclusion mechanism.
CEMBUREAU called into doubt the representativeness of the technology penetration reported by the Cement Sustainability Initiative’s Getting the Numbers Right database. It is a well-established fact that the penetration of modern preheater precalciner kilns in most emerging countries is higher than in Europe, because the industry is younger outside of Europe and hence most installations have been built with more recent, more energy-efficient technology. Besides the CSI database, cement CO2 inventories exist for about 10 emerging countries. They all confirm the same.
Beyond the comparison with other regions however, an emissions trading system that after 12 years still enables one fifth of production being made using the most energy-intensive technologies objectively misses its purpose.
Despite consuming up to 50% more energy than the Best Available Technology, such installations can survive thanks to free allocation and the revenues from waste derived fuels. The industry legitimately highlights the environmental benefits of using waste as a fuel. However, it is questionable whether keeping energy-intensive installations alive thanks to cheap energy from waste is consistent with this environmental narrative.
The proposed changes to the EU ETS will not improve its effectiveness for the cement industry. Quite the opposite, it will make it even less effective because the introduction of a dynamic allocation based on a clinker benchmark completely nullifies the need for the industry to lower the clinker content in cement.
CEMBUREAU indeed has the right to protect the industry it represents, but is probably short sighted and ill informed when it does so to the detriment of society’s necessity to mitigate climate change. The rejection of the importers’ inclusion mechanism is a missed opportunity for the European Union to make the ETS effective and for the cement industry to maintain its competitiveness in a carbon constrained world.
Eric Olsen, CEO of LafargeHolcim, the largest global cement company, and chairman of the Cement Sustainability Initiative, has called for a meaningful and increasing carbon price that can be passed through the whole product value chain and for trade policy to be included in the ETS.2
Lakshmi Mittal, Chairman of ArcelorMittal, the largest global steel company, has also called for a border adjustment measure and inclusion of consumption in climate policies.3 High quality research by leading economists exists on this topic.4 Now that the reform of the EU ETS enters the trilogue negotiation between European Council, Commission and Parliament, these industry leaders should step forward with a concrete and workable solution to combine industrial, trade and climate policies by 2020.
2. WEF, Davos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_mhqcNR0uA
3. Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/8341b644-ef95-11e6-ba01-119a44939bb6
4. Climate Strategies, UK: http://climatestrategies.org/?s=consumption