UK cement industry’s study concerns

By Neill Barston02 April 2015

The Mineral Products Association (MPA), the trade organisation for the UK’s aggregates and cement industry, has expressed concern over a government 2050 carbon reduction roadmap for the UK’s cement sector.

According to the MPA, the study from the government’s Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) and Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), was “incomplete” in failing to clarify the full cost of carbon emissions reduction measures.

The report examined eight industrial sectors including iron and steel, chemicals, cement and oil refining, to assess how energy-intensive commercial processes could be improved.

In terms of costs, the study estimated a figure for cement industry carbon reduction measures of between £300 and £600 million (€409 and €818 million).

The results also found that many potential emissions reduction solutions were linked to technology that had yet to be developed, which would require additional investment.

The report recognised that many companies in the UK had already implemented energy efficiency initiatives. There were also industry concerns over carbon-reduction policies that could potentially affect the international competitiveness of the sector.

The MPA said that despite its reservations about the report, the organisation would work with the government to produce a framework for reducing carbon emissions.

Dr Pal Chana, MPA executive director, said that carbon-reduction policies needed to be “technically feasible and economically viable”.

He said, “MPA believes that carbon reductions need to be achieved while maintaining the competitiveness of domestic manufacturers.

“There is no point in making it more expensive to produce cement domestically than it is to import cement from other countries, as this simply displaces the carbon emissions somewhere else – a classic case of carbon leakage.”

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