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Australia's Cement Industry

Introduction

  • In 2013-14 the Australian cement industry recorded a turnover of A$2.3 billion, directly and indirectly employing over 5,000 people - many of whom are based in regional Australia. 
       
  • The Australian cement industry is an important contributor to regional employment and to the growth and sustainability of the Australian economy. 
       
  • Our industry has the potential to prosper if it is not burdened with excessive regulation and taxes.

Cement Production in Australia

  • Cement is the key ingredient in concrete, the most consumed material on earth behind water. 
           
  • CIF member companies produce cement in seven integrated clinker and cement facilities, which include five grinding plants. The product is delivered to market through around 20 distribution terminals.

 

 

  • The industry adopts leading edge practices to reduce costs and emissions. 
       
  • Since 1990 the industry has moved towards more energy efficient clinker production techniques through the increased use of pre-calciner kilns and a reduction of clinker production using less efficient long-wet kilns. 
       
  • In 2013-14, pre-calciner kilns accounted for around 90 per cent of total clinker production in the Australian cement industry. 
           

 

 Sales and Emissions

  • Improvements in blending technology and increased use of by-products from other industries has resulted in a significant reduction in the total emissions per tonne of cementitious materials sold, whilst maintaining a steady increase in total sales. 
       
  • By-products used in blending include fly ash from coal fired power stations and ground granulated blast furnace slag from steel mills. 
       

    Energy Use and Emissions
  • Since 1990 the increased use of alternative fuels in the cement manufacturing process has resulted in a significant reduction in both fuel and power use. 
       
  • Increasing the production capacities of kilns will be required for any further significant improvement in fuel efficiency. 
       
  • Increased fuel efficiency can sometimes come at the expense of power efficiency.  
       

 

  

  • The Australian cement industry has consistently increased the use of alternative fuels, lowering the industry's greenhouse emissions as well as waste from other industries going to landfill.  
       
  • In 2013-14 around 10 per cent of all fuels used in the Australian cement industry were derived from alternative sources - such as used oil, demolition timber and solvent fuels.   
                       
               
  • Significant scope remains to increase the safe use of alternative fuels in Australian cement kilns. The removal of regulatory and definitional barriers would aid our industry's move towards more sustainable production.  

 

           

 

  • Supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) are materials that can be used in place of clinker to produce cement - without compromising performance. The use of SCMs is one of the most effective ways to reduce emissions. 
       
  • Many SCMs originate as high-volume by-products of other industrial processes. Examples include granulated blast furnace slag from iron and steel production, as well as fly ash from the power generation industry.