Happy New Year ...

Dear Readers,

... You can’t really say Happy New Year without a certain amount of light-heartedness ... At the beginning of 2020, it was all much easier. There is no shortage of forecasts and assumptions for the year 2021 ahead of us – the only question is how trustworthy these statements are in the current situation. Trade fairs and events are being cancelled by the dozen and postponed by one or two years. A certain lack of commitment is spreading. But is propagating pessimism the right strategy? How about focusing on the strengths? To use what is still possible at the moment or, with a view to the future, to further develop the areas in which one is strong.

The article “Cement industry challenges in the new decade” (p. 18) by Dr. Joachim Harder, OneStone Consulting, shows both the opportunities for a positive development of the cement industry in some parts of the world and the challenges that are not only due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. Much also depends on the economic development and the interaction of the individual countries. Last but not least, the availability of raw materials and the further development of alternative hydraulic binders will play a not inconsiderable role in the future.

Many other contributions in this ZKG Cement Lime Gypsum also show that the current lockdown in many countries does not mean a standstill in the building materials industry; the construction of new plants is being tackled (see p. 42 and p. 48), work is being done on process optimisation (see p. 38) or on optimising cement strength (see p. 52).

So if we remember our strengths and our skills, we have every reason to look optimistically to the future. We wish you an inspiring reading.

Dr. Petra Strunk
Editor-in-Chief

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