The World Cement Association’s (WCA) Open Day culminated in a global call to action by its President, Mr Song Zhiping.

During his keynote address, Song urged the global cement industry to continue its efforts towards carbon neutrality, but also to focus on the industry’s digital advancement.

“I call on cement plants in all countries and regions, all WCA members including cement manufacturers as well as design and research institutes to take joint action to reduce carbon emissions. The task is challenging, but I am confident that we can do it well.”


Song explained that CO2 emissions could be reduced through three key measures:

  1. Reducing clinker factor
  2. Decreasing fuel
  3. Decreasing power consumption

Mr Zhiping’s drew attention to decarbonisation by highlighting the work of WCA member Anhui Conch, who has installed CCUS facilities at its Baima Shan plant near the Yangtze River in eastern China. The project separates and purifies 50 000t of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year, which Conch then sells to industrial consumers. In addition, China National Building Materials Company (CNBM) started recently to use CO2 emitted from cement plants to nourish plants in greenhouses, as an alternative way to cut CO2 emissions.


He noted that thanks to the ongoing technological progress, the cement industry has moved from automation to digitalisation. Digitalisation has transformed sales, which are increasingly online, for example, CNBM’s “On-line Drive Platform” initiative, demonstrating that the cement industry is in step with the global digitalisation trend.

“Application of digital and smart technologies has helped to decrease manpower, make operations more accurate, improve quality and lower costs,” comments Song.


Reflecting on what has been an exceedingly difficult year for the economy, he highlighted global cement volume, which stands at 4.1 billion tons, nearly equal to that of 2019. China’s cement industry performance was also good, selling 2.4 billion tons of cement, up 2.5% YoY.

WCA in turn made progress, welcoming more members and climate partners over the past year, furthering the development of the association and launching a number of new digital initiatives including networking, webinars, knowledge sharing and member forum.

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