The situation of the cement sector in Catalonia, and the possible ways of improvement, centered the working session held by a delegation of Ciment Català with the general director of Industry of the Department of Enterprise and Knowledge of the Generalitat, Matilde Villarroya. During the meeting, held on December 4, the representatives of the factories explained that the situation is still critical because, although a few months ago it seemed to consolidate a certain but slight improvement trend, the latest data collected on consumption introduce uncertainties about the cement market.
In fact, it was found that investment in infrastructure (one of the two components of cement demand, the other is residential construction) is now at a minimum. In this regard, reference was made to the fact that the administration prioritizes spending on education or health, but that if investment in infrastructures does not begin to increase, the competitiveness of the entire country may suffer.
Among the main problems of the sector are the costs of electricity and CO2 emission rights, which have increased significantly in recent times, a matter where the Government can support the position of the sector but has no power to change the course. The delegation of cement companies also highlighted the importance of thermal energy (energy recovery) and exports, matters on which the Generalitat itself has the capacity to act.
Energy recovery is a safe practice for health and the environment that is applied to the developed countries of our environment and ease the sustainability of the cement sector. A practice for which the general director of Industry was clearly interested. Regarding exports, it was pointed out that actions can be carried out through ACCIÓ.
As a final point, it was agreed that a collaboration would be sought with the Bureau of Infrastructures, which could invite the cement sector in Catalonia to present their situation and perspectives and needs for the future.