Current crisis situation also determines BVK‘s general meeting

The Federal Association of the German Lime Industry (BVK) held its annual general meeting in Lübeck on June 16, 2023, to look back on an eventful year and discuss the challenges for the future. The past months were marked by unforeseeable external events, in particular the energy crisis, and thus represented a considerable challenge for the member companies of the energy-intensive and CO2-intensive lime industry.

BVK Chairman Thomas Perterer summarized these challenges: The need for resilience and agility currently extends not only to the association, but also to member companies and the German industry in general. Established business models have been shaken due to unpredictable events, an environment of predictability has become one of volatile change, and as a result, the demands on companies have also changed rapidly. In times of multiple crises and upheavals, innovative answers and solutions are needed to meet the new challenges. Despite everything, the lime industry has come through these difficult times comparatively well and has once again proven that the product “Lime - Made in Germany” can be produced in an economically sustainable manner. In the future, however, “Lime - Made in Germany” must also be produced in a CO2-neutral manner.

A decisive basis for this are coherent framework conditions, which currently do not yet meet the medium- and long-term requirements of an energy- and CO2-intensive industry. In order to achieve these framework conditions for the lime industry as well, it is necessary to highlight the contribution of the lime industry to the value-added chain of national industrial production and its responsibility in the area of climate protection. The argument of being critical of the system alone is no longer sufficient. The industry must credibly demonstrate how it can reconcile its entrepreneurial actions with the legal requirements and the public’s expectations for reducing greenhouse gases.

An important step in this direction are the CO2 roadmaps of the European and German Lime Associations, which are currently being drawn up and revised. Here, it is clearly shown how the transformation towards climate-neutral lime production can be achieved and what is needed to achieve this. The BVK has already started to successfully place this content with relevant decision-makers. This is reflected in the fact that the association is regularly invited to participate in discussions on the medium- and long-term framework conditions of the German industry. In order to further strengthen this position, the BVK is even more present in politics with its capital city office, in order to intensify the exchange of ideas with political decision-makers.

Due to its high unavoidable process emissions, the lime industry will only be able to achieve climate-neutral lime production with CCS and CCU. All the more exciting was the guest presentation by Martin Frings, Project Manager CO2 Infrastructure at Open Grid Europe GmbH (OGE), on the status of the creation of a necessary CO2 infrastructure and the supply guarantee with hydrogen for the lime industry.

In 2022, the industry experienced a -4.9% decline in sales of burnt lime products. The year 2023 also got off to a further negative start. In view of the economic uncertainties and the fragile global security architecture, the association does not venture a forecast for the further course of sales in 2023.

The industry nevertheless expressed optimism. The BVK is firmly convinced that through close cooperation within the association, with political decision-makers and all relevant stakeholders, the challenges ahead can and must be turned into opportunities. This is crucial to maintaining the German industrial landscape as the basis of national and European prosperity.

Excellent occupational safety

The Federal Association of the German Lime Industry (BVK) also announced occupational safety awards to employees and companies in the lime industry at its members‘ meeting in Lübeck on June 16, 2023. The certificates will subsequently be presented at on-site appointments at the plants.

Employee competition on occupational safety

BVK was particularly pleased to receive a very high number of qualified suggestions for improvements in occupational safety from employees of member companies – 21 this year.

In addition, the BVK was pleased to receive a suggestion from among the trainees at Fels-Werke, which was awarded a special prize.

From a total of 21 suggestions, the following 3 places were awarded:

1st place: Hans-Willi Hübinger, Lhoist, radio traffic circle

2nd place: Dorian Kunert, Lhoist, automatic braking system wheel loader

3rd place: Ralf Landmann, Lhoist, Control station – digitalization of registration (idea)

Special prize: Apprentice project, submitted via Philipp Bänecke, Fels Werke, support trestle with changeover support

Occupational safety award for companies in the

lime industry

In 2023, the Bundesverband der Deutschen Kalk-industrie e.V. (Federal Association of the German Lime Industry) will also be awarding the Occupational Safety Prize to member companies for the 37th time in recognition of their efforts to provide safe working conditions for their employees.

The safety index on which the competition is based takes into account the number of accidents in relation to hours worked and lost working hours. Commuting accidents are also taken into account. In contrast to the official accident statistics of the accident insurance, accidents are counted from the first day of absence.

The occupational safety competition has a special appeal: It shows companies where they stand with their occupational safety, also in comparison with their competitors in the lime industry. Good results in the occupational safety competition are also a confirmation of successful efforts to improve within the company. The occupational safety competition is thus an incentive for the companies and at the same time an expression of the appreciation of the entire industry for the successful actions of the BVK member plants.

This year, the BVK is pleased with the following award winners:

For outstanding results, Fels-Werke GmbH, Kalkwerk Münchehof, with an outstanding safety index of 352.80, receives the certificate in gold.

The silver certificate goes to Lhoist Germany, Hagen-Halden plant with a safety index of 259.00 and Fels-Werke GmbH, Rübeland lime works with a safety index of 258.86.

The three bronze award winners are Eduard Merkle GmbH & Co. KG with a safety index of 214.57, Fels-Werke GmbH, Hornberg plant with a safety index of 209.42, and Lhoist Germany with the Messinghausen plant and a safety index of 192.48.

Based on the accident statistics of the previous year, the evaluation of the member companies that were accident-free in the past 3, 5 or 7 years was also carried out.

The following companies received a commendation for being accident-free for several years in succession:

7 years accident-free: Lhoist Germany, Hagen-Halden plant

5 years accident-free: Fels-Werke GmbH, Hornberg lime plant and Fels-Werke GmbH, Gillers-heim lime plant

3 years accident-free: Eduard Merkle GmbH & Co. KG Fels-Werke GmbH, Münchehof, lime plant Lhoist, Messinghausen plant and Märker Kalk GmbH, Harburg plant

All award winners and companies with their exemplary efforts in the area of occupational health and safety in their plants help bringing Vision Zero, the vision of an accident-free working world, steadily closer.



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