Market Intelligence

New Highway Bill Will Have Cement Consumption on the Rise

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With the passage of a five-year federal transportation bill, cement manufacturers will see a rise in consumption, according to the Portland Cement Association (PCA).

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act will provide more than $305 billion to maintain and improve the nation’s surface transportation. Cement consumption’s largest impact will focus on authorizations from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

“FAST represents an average addition of 835 thousand metric tons annually to the cement industry,” said Edward J. Sullivan, chief economist and group vice-president at PCA. “Smaller increases occur in the near term (370 thousand tons for 2016) and larger net increases occur in the out years of the forecast horizon (1.4 million tons for 2020).”

FAST is seen largely as an improvement over the previous MAP-21. While funding levels are modestly higher, it also represents a multi-year commitment that allows states to engage in multi-year projects.

View report

Contact Ed Sullivan

Industry News

WBCSD Announces Long-Term Reduction of CO2 Emissions for Cement Industry

The cement industry last week released a set of action plans aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 1 gigaton by 2030, a reduction of 20-25 percent.

Action plans launched by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBSCD) on December 8 call for an international CO2 policy framework and the removal of existing barriers in order to unlock the sector’s full reduction potential.

The Cement Action Plan is part of the WBCSD Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative (LCTPi), an unprecedented business collaboration to scale up the development and deployment of low carbon technologies.

The LCPTi Cement report identifies a range of actions that tackle emissions in the sector, including expanding the use of alternative fuels and cement components, developing new low carbon cements, looking into avoided emissions in the use phase of concrete as a sustainable building material and exploring novelties in the production process.

Engaging the building and infrastructure value chains to reduce cement’s footprint will further contribute to the use of concrete as a sustainable and resilient construction solution.

View news release

Member News

Two Essroc Plants Earn Consecutive ENERGY STAR Certifications

For the second year in a row, Essroc’s Martinsburg and Nazareth cement operations earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® certification. This endorsement signifies that the industrial facilities perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meet strict performance levels set by the EPA.

“Essroc is pleased to accept EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification in recognition of our energy efficiency efforts,” said Jean-Paul Morel, corporate energy manager for Essroc. “Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs.”

ENERGY STAR® was introduced by the EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA.

Codes and Standards

Committee E05 on Fire Standards Addresses Testing

During ASTM E05 Committee on Fire Standards meetings in Tampa, Florida, there were two significant accomplishments with regard to ASTM E119 Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials. First, language was removed from the ballot that would have permitted treating test results for wood stud wall systems with only 85 percent of the total load bearing capacity to be considered comparable to test results where the assemble was tested under total load bearing capacity. Second, new language will be proposed that would require reporting of any loads other than full load-bearing capacity of the test specimen to be reported and designated “restrictive.” If the new language advances, the “restrictive” designation will serve as a flag to the user to indicate that the acceptable design loads for the representative specimen are less than the total load-bearing capacity. This is not currently part of the reporting criteria which has historically relied solely on the entity using or promoting test results. Both efforts will assist in keeping a level playing field between wood and concrete buildings.

There are many aspects of fire test methods that impact test outcomes. Continual PCA participation in the development of the ASTM E05 on Fire Standards remains necessary to prevent further erosion of acceptance criteria.

Contact Steve Szoke

Regional News

Meredith Receives Good Roads Advocate Award

Meredith, Wesley_Carolinas_ACPA_award_framedThe Carolinas Concrete Paving Association recently presented its “Good Roads Advocate Award” to North Carolina State Senator Wesley Meredith (R-District 19).

Meredith, currently serving in his third term, is co-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Under his leadership, more than $700 million in new revenue for state transportation was budgeted over the next two years, which represents a major increase in funding for road maintenance and new construction. Also, a coal ash provision was added to the Senate budget to help promote safer disposal of coal ash and provide a new supply of additives for concrete mixtures for a more durable concrete in bridges and pavements.

The Carolinas Concrete Paving Association (CCPA) is part of the Southeast Chapter of the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA). Greg Dean, CCPA executive director, presented the award to Meredith.

Contact Roger Faulkner

Education and Training

Purchase Discounted Tickets to World of Concrete

RegSmallBoxWorld of Concrete (WOC) 2016 will be held in Las Vegas on February 1-5, 2016. The largest, most comprehensive commercial concrete and masonry event for the concrete industry features more than 1,400 exhibitors and more than 100 seminars and conference sessions. New for 2016, WOC will launch an area for precast concrete, highlighting the latest products and technologies in the sector.

As a cosponsor, PCA offers discount admission to exhibits. By registering through PCA and using promo code A32, exhibits-only admission is $20, a $45-$65 savings. Additionally, PCA receives a rebate from Hanley-Wood based on the number of pre-registered attendees who come to the show.

2016 WOC Pricing (Some restrictions may apply):

  • Exhibits-only rates: $20 online thru show; $65 onsite with printed Buyer Invite, or $85 without printed Buyer Invite.
  • Seminar rates: 3-hour seminars are $130 before December 15, 2015 and $170 after; 90-minute seminars are $90 before December 15, 2015 and $130 after; 4-hour certifications are $185 before December 15 and $215 after.
  • Super pass packages: SP1-2s are $405 before December 15 and $525 after December 15; SP3s are $505 before December 15 and $625 after.
  • Rates for onsite seminars and super pass packages are the same as post-December 15 pricing.

Register with PCA discount