A glimpse into the future

What does the future look like? This is a question, to which many people all over the world would like to have an answer. At least a certain amount of planning reliability would often be an advantage. In the middle of May the American cement industry met at the annual IEEE-IAS/PCA conference in San Antonio, Texas. A long-standing restrained economy, increasing energy prices and emission regulations make long-term planning difficult. Both plant operators and plant construction companies look at the future very carefully and decide to wait and see in order to assess the potential for capital spending, modernization projects and new plants. Ed Sullivan, the PCA chief economist, expects a weak increase in cement consumption in the near future. As a result, it will take quite some time before the long-awaited clear recovery arrives. For 2012 a moderate increase of 3.7 % has been predicted. However, for the years 2013 and 2014 7.6 % and 14.1 %, respectively are already expected. Africa is also a dynamic, continuously developing ­market. A market report in this issue shows the potential of the individual regions. A rather more ­scientific than economic glimpse into the future of binders will be presented at this year’s ibausil (www.ibausil.de). We interviewed Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ludwig, the Chairman of the Conference Committee, and asked him what the participants could expect. The lime industry also shows a continuous development due to the future need for a sustainable and efficient production. We have compiled for you some topics in a special from page 52 on in this issue.
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