Cement industry of the post-Soviet countries today: an insider’s view.

Since 2002 every issue of the journal Cement and its Applications timed with the next regular Petrocem Conference contains materials obtained from cement producers that cover the current state of business in their companies and their plans.
Over the past two years the number of completed major projects involving the construction of new process lines or radical reconstruction of the existing ones has decreased. The companies in this sector have mainly resorted to other ways of enhancing the efficiency their operations and strengthening their market positions — in particular, to selecting less costly options for production upgrades, optimization of repairs and monitoring the state of the equipment, stringent control over product quality and its consistency, enhancing the logistics and client servicing.
Repairs can be done either by own specialized units of cement companies and holdings or by retaining the services of equipment suppliers. However, in our opinion, it would make sense to set up regional repair services thus concentrating the forces of skilled personnel and engineering tools required for such work while at the same time ensuring provision of prompt technical assistance.
One of the ways of developing the logistics is the setting up of cement terminals. Their number keeps growing. The trend of reducing the medium-range haulage distances is noticeable as for supplying the greater part of their products most producers primarily target markets in their own regions. Many producers pay special attention to supplying bagged cement. They expand their own fleets of cement trucks and rail cars.
Unfortunately one can still see extremely few examples of implementing the potential for reducing the production costs by replacing clinker in cement with mineral additives, using alternative fuels and secondary raw material. The potential for waste utilization in cement production is very high; its realization will provide significant ecological benefits.
Production facilities pay an ever greater attention to measures aimed at environmental protection, which, considering the current tightening of regulatory requirements, is especially important today.
In the FSU countries, those two years saw varied fortunes of their cement sectors. For more details see further materials published in this section.

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