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FLSmidth’s cement business reports challenging 2017

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World Cement,

FLSmidth’s Cement Division reported a 5% fall in year-on-year revenues and a 33% fall in year-on-year earnings in 2017. There was better news on order intakes with the Danish company reporting a steady gross order intake over the year and 19% rise in gross order intake in 4Q17 on good inquiry activity for equipment sales and upgrades.

“Following a relatively active start to the year with several larger orders and what appeared to be a slow recovery in the cement industry, the market for new cement capacity lost some momentum in 3Q17 and was unchanged in 4Q17,” the company said. “The pipeline of potential projects in less encouraging than a year ago, although regional opportunities exist.”

Globally, there remain opportunities in India – where activity is improving – and neighbouring countries. There are also “select opportunities” in North and East Africa, as well as parts of Asia and Latin America. However, growth in cement demand in the US has yet to give rise to a need for new cement plants.

On the technology side, FLSmidth launched the Counter Current Cyclone and the OK raw mill in 2017.

The Counter Current Cyclone combines heat exchange and separation in a single process, allowing for a reduction in both CAPEX and OPEX of a cement preheater tower. It is also possible to reduce the number of stages – and therefore the higher – of the tower.

The OK raw mill builds on the installation of over 150 OK cement mills around the world, offering low power consumption, high availability, high product quality, and flexibility to grind diverse materials. The first OK raw mill recently began operation in Indonesia.

The addition of the OK raw mill to the existing OK cement mill product line offers “several advantages,” FLSmidth said. “Owners can benefit from both parts commonality, as well as consistent maintenance procedures. Further, the standardisation of mill design and production translates into increased reliability and lower risk of lost production due to unplanned stoppages.”

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