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Cement news highlights: 6 – 9 May

World Cement,

Environmental developments

Some interesting environmental projects and achievements have been announced in Europe this week. Lark Energy, in partnership with Armstrong Energy, has completed this first phase of a solar farm project at Hanson Cement’s Ketton plant in the UK. The solar farm is expected to generate enough energy to meet around 10% of the plant’s yearly energy consumption. Meanwhile, Konza Renewable Fuels and Aeon Energy Solutions has received an order for a full scale commercial 100 000 tpa torrefaction system from a Europe-based corporation. Torrefied biomass (or bio-coal) can be used as an alternative fuel source in the cement, steel and power generation sectors, among others. Finally, Italcementi’s new biodynamic cement, TX Active, has been selected as a finalist in the ‘Industry’ category for the European Inventor Award of the EPO – European Patent Office. TX Active is being used for the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2015.

Contracts and expansion

FLSmidth MAAG Gear has inaugurated its first assemble and service unit in India, which will enable it to increase its presence and services in the Indian market and surrounding area. Over in the US, Titan America LLC has launched a new business, ST Equipment & Technology LLC. This will allow the company to further develop its separation technology for mineral and flyash applications.

In terms of contracts, Loesche will supply Saudi Arabia’s United Cement Industrial Company with an LM 56.4 raw mill and SCHADE has been awarded a contract by Brazilian cement producer CIPLAN Cimento Planalto S/A.

Some promising results

More cement producers released their 1Q14 results this week. Although poor weather conditions in the US affected Ciments Francais’ results, there were improvements in Western Europe, where sales increased by 14.3%. Vulcan Materials Company reported a rise in gross profit, overall sales and EBITDA when compared to 1Q13, while HeidelbergCement experienced double-digit growth in sales volumes in the first three months of 2014. In addition, the Lafarge Annual General Meeting took place in Paris, during which the group reaffirmed its goals for 2014, which include generating an additional €600 million EBITDA through innovation and cost reduction programmes.

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