The UK cement industry is threatened by rising costs associated with climate change and energy policies, according to a new report form the Minerals Products Association (MPA).
UK cement production is facing pressure for further environmental improvements, coupled with rising production costs, an uncertain market outlook, and a lack of clarity on carbon and energy policy, association said.
“One of the greatest threats to the UK cement industry currently and in the near future is the considerable cost burden from the implementation of climate change and energy-related policies,” said Pal Chana, MPA’s Executive Director.
According to MPA estimates, these costs will increase by 40% by 2020, despite some discounting from government. “If action is not taken to protect the UK cement sector from these rising costs, imports will increase, jobs will be lost, and security of supply will be threatened.”
The MPA also raised concerns over increasing competition in the biomass market, as government policies make the use of biomass attractive to other industrial sectors. These policies have resulted in market distortion, said the association, and could see cement manufacturers return to coal use.
The UK cement industry has been slowly recovering since the economic recession on 2007 – 2009 saw cement production drop by 40%. However, production still remains 27% below the level in 2007.