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Cement news highlights: 2 – 6 June

World Cement,

Reducing the industry’s environmental impact

For the first time, the Canadian government plans to regulate industrial air pollutant emissions through the requirements proposed by the Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations. The country’s cement sector has supported the decision, with Michael McSweeney, President and CEO of the Cement Association of Canada, stating: “We were the first industrial sector to conclude discussions with the government and other stakeholders on the performance standards that would apply to our cement plants. We believe that the development of the regulations benefited from the multi-stakeholder process.”

Funding has also been announced for environmental projects. In England, Lancashire Waste Recycling has received funding worth £300 000 from Rosebud Finance. The recycling plant develops fuel from waste that would otherwise go to landfill. Some of this fuel is used by Hanson Cement. In addition, an EPFL-led consortium has been awarded CHF4 million in funding by the Swiss Agency for Development. The money will be used to further develop a new blend of low-carbon cement.

Health and safety

This week, Lafarge’s Villaluenga de la Sagra plant in Spain celebrated five years without an accident, an achievement that coincides with the company’s Health and Safety Month. Meanwhile in the UK, the British Safety Council has formally launched its 2014 Sword of Honour and Globe of Honour awards. These seek to recognise the exemplary management of health, safety and environmental risks.

Cemex opens new facilities in Europe

Cemex made two announcements regarding its European operations this week. In Spain, a new distribution centre for white cement and other building materials has been inaugurated in Rubí, Barcelona, and the cement producer has established Cementi Siciliania, which will distribute products from a facility at the Sicilian Port of Augusta in Catania. The new facilities will help to strengthen Cemex’s presence and offerings in the Catalonian and Italian markets, respectively.

Competition cases

The European Commission has cleared Holcim’s acquisition of Cemex’s operations in the west of Germany, which includes a cement plant and two grinding stations. However, Brazil’s CADE has announced its decision to fine six cement and concrete manufacturers for alleged price-fixing. The companies have denied the allegations and some plan to appeal the ruling.

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