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Turkey’s Growing Cement Market

World Cement,

Turkish cement industry 

The Turkish cement industry began production in 1911 with 20 000 tpa capacity. In the 1950s, production reached 370 000 tpa, but it did not meet local market demand until the 1970s. The country’s cement industry, with export volumes rising every year, has gained increasing importance in the economic structure of Turkey, while also providing a significant level of employment. Today, the Turkish cement sector includes a total of 69 cement plants (48 integrated plants and 21 grinding-packing plants), employs 15 000 people and generates an annual turnover of US$4 billion.


In 2011, production capacity reached 65 million tpa of clinker and 106 million tpa of cement. Realised production rates are 54.2 million tpa of clinker and
63.4 million tpa of cement. There are considerable infrastructure and housing gaps in the country and the construction industry has a promising future. Domestic cement demand was expected to grow by around 4 – 5% in 2012.

Over the next 10 years, the sector is expected to grow in the domestic and export markets, while reaching a production volume of 100 million tpa. According to cement industry projections for 2013 – 2023, in terms of values for 2023, production is expected to reach 99.8 million t and consumption 78.9 million t.


A total of 3.6 billion t of cement was produced globally in 2011, the leader of which continues to be China, which produced 2.063 billion t. European countries follow with 273.6 million t, India with 223.3 million t, the US with 68.4 million t, followed by Brazil and Turkey, with 63 million t each. Excess capacity remains a problem worldwide, although many countries have been trying to overcome this by increasing public investments and placing greater focus on exports.

Turkey’s cement industry relies on domestic resources and raw materials to meet its production needs and increases its share of exports each year, with the majority going to Iraq, Syria and Russia.

At the moment, Turkey’s cement industry has no difficulty in meeting domestic demand, and has become the largest cement exporter in Europe, with US$913 million or 14.4 million t exported in 2011.

While producing cement in accordance with EU norms, Turkish cement producers face rising energy costs, which can put it at a disadvantage to the cement industries of some other countries.

It currently exports to more than 100 countries and, especially after the crisis of 2008, continues to seek new markets such as the West African States.

Within the next 10 years, potential export volumes are expected to reach about 20 million t.

Case study

The ABB plant-wide automation strategy searches for the optimal operation point while maximising product quality and productivity, at the lowest energy consumption and with the least environmental impact. This is achieved through a combination of variable speed drives (VSD), advanced process control, energy monitoring and reporting. Electrical energy savings of up to 70% can be achieved by using VSD over a fixed-speed motor and damper. The multi-drive solution provides the optimised drive solution for the grate cooler. The control and optimisation of the kiln will reduce thermal fuel consumption by up to 8%. When this is combined with the automated collection, organisation and distribution of production, quality and energy reports, fast decisions and interaction to reach the goals of energy management are achieved. Due to the fact that electric energy is a significant cost factor in cement production, new technologies are well accepted in Turkish cement manufacturers’ modernisation and investment projects.

As an example, Medcem Cement, a newly established cement manufacturing company within Eren Holding, has selected ABB as the provider of electrification and automation systems.

ABB, as the leading power and automation technology group, received an order to provide electrification, automation and drive solutions for Medcem’s greenfield cement plant project in Turkey. The contract was awarded in July 2012.

The new plant will be located in Mersin, on the Mediterranean coast. With an estimated 10 000 tpd of clinker, the plant will have the largest production line capacity in Turkey. Production startup is planned for March 2014.

ABB’s scope of supply for the greenfield project includes its state-of-the-art control System 800xA, Expert Optimizer process optimisation software, medium and low voltage electrical motors, ACS800 series low voltage drives, ACS1000 and ACS6000 series medium voltage drives, ZS1 series medium voltage cubicles, MNS series low voltage cubicles, site erection, installation, commissioning and services. The equipment will provide high availability of the complete production process and raise efficiency through high-quality production at a low energy consumption.

Medcem Mining & Building Materials Inc. is part of Eren Holding. After beginning its commercial activities in 1969 in the textile sector, Eren Holding and its affiliates are now also operating in the energy, paper, packaging, retail, cement, textile and tourism sectors. By adapting a growth strategy based on equity, the group became one of the leading business conglomerates in Turkey.

ABB’s well established relationship with the Eren Group, the ability to provide all solutions as single source supplier, as well as its extensive cement engineering experience and knowledge of local electrical regulations were major factors for winning this project.


  • Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Science and Technology / General Directorate of Industry / Sectoral Reports and Analyses / Cement Sector Report (2012/2):
  • State Statistical Agency. 
  • Turkish Cement Manufacturers Association (TCMA).
  • International Trade Center, Trade Map.
  • TCMA Cement and Concrete magazines. 
  • Construction Sector report, 2009.
  • Turkish Ready Concrete Union report, 2011-103.
  • European Cement Union (CEMBUREAU) Activity Report, 2011.
  • Turkish Cement Industry & Market Potentials, International Cement Trade Conference 2010, Istanbul, Kerem Ersen, Head of Economic Evaluations and Foreign Relations, TCMA 2010.
  • The World Factbook. Retrieved on 9 February 2013.
  • World Development Indicators database, World Bank, 1 July 2011.
  • Activity Report 2011 – CEMBUREAU.
  • Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Economy (, Sectoral Reports and Statistics.

Written by Bulent Kolanci, ABB in Turkey. This is an abridged version of the full article, which appeared in the May 2013 issue of World Cement. Subscribers can view the full article by logging in.

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