The cement manufacturing companies in Catalonia are demanding from the public administrations a commitment to maintain activity in the Construction sector, understanding that this is the best formula to curb the negative consequences of the health emergency by COVID-19 and, above all, to achieve a quick and complete recovery of the country’s economy. According to the Ciment Català employers, returning to construction normality as quickly as possible would help a sustained resumption in the construction and maintenance of infrastructures, would imply keeping jobs and consequently stopping unemployment and the benefits that accompany it, and It would generate a multiplier effect of activity in other industrial and service sectors.
All this, however, must be put into practice, putting occupational health and safety first, a priority aspect for the cement industry. All the Catalan factories have implemented, even before the alarm state decree, measures aimed at protecting the workforce, to continue manufacturing cement and guaranteeing the supply of product. Among the protocols applied are teleworking for all those areas where it is possible, from administration to commercial. Also the provision of PPE (personal protective equipment) for workers who must be present in the industrial premises. These measures are also complemented by two characteristics typical of cement factories, such as their technological endowment (which avoids unnecessary interactions between people) and the size of the facilities, which guarantee the social distance between workers.
In this emergency context, Ciment Català makes itself available to the Administration to, if necessary, destroy those wastes that may show signs of COVID-19 contagion. Due to the fact that during the production of clinker the highest temperatures of any industrial process, higher than 2,000ºC, the energy recovery of these residues can be carried out with all the environmental and health and safety guarantees of employees, citizenship and natural environment.
Regarding the market situation, the provisional statistical data for Production and Consumption for the month of March indicate a respective fall of 10% and 27% in relation to March 2019. These data, however, do not yet collect in all their extension of the impact of the work stoppage decreed by the Spanish government for the period from March 30 to April 13.