Cement Americas

APR 2019

Cement Americas provides comprehensive coverage of the North and South American cement markets from raw material extraction to delivery and tranportation to end user.

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10 CEMENT AMERICAS • Spring 2019 • www.cementamericas.com ASSOCIATION NEWS PCA Forecasts Moderate Cement Consumption Growth The Portland Cement Association (PCA) released its annual Spring Forecast which envisions strong to moderate growth for cement consumption through 2019 and into 2020. PCA Market Intelligence expects cement consumption will grow by 2.3 percent in 2019; com- pared to the Fall 2018 forecast this represents a marginal slowing in the pace of growth. "While there are several phenomenon that confront the economy in the next two years, PCA believes the economy is strong," said PCA Senior Vice President and Chief Econ- omist Ed Sullivan. "As interest rates rise, they will steal some strength from economic growth. Private construction growth, being an interest rate sensitive sector, is expected to slow under the weight of higher interest rates. Cement consumption growth will slow as a result." In addition, rising state deficits have forced many states to adjust budgets, reduce costs, and re-prioritize spending. "Absent a new near term infrastructure program, public sector cement consumption is also expected to slow as transportation investment takes a back seat to high state spending priorities," Sullivan said. PCA's analysis notes the labor market remains strong. On a monthly basis the economy has generated 235,000 net new jobs. While this pace is expected to ease in subsequent years, it is expected to generate more than two million jobs for the next two years. "Overall, the pace of cement consumption growth is expected to soften each year through 2021," said Sullivan. "In 2022, interest rates are expected to reach their apex and recede slightly. At about this time, the supplemental infrastructure initiative is expected to materialize. " PCA Applauds FHWA Nomination of Nason The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved by voice vote the nomination of Nicole Nason to be the administra- tor of the Federal Highway Admin- istration (FHWA). The Portland Cement Association (PCA), which endorsed Nason's nomination in a letter to the committee, urged the full Senate to move expeditiously to confirm her. "The Portland Cement Association strongly supports Nicole Nason to be the administrator of the Federal Highway Administration as the federal government looks to reau- thorize the FAST Act and develop a funding solution for the Highway Trust Fund before it becomes insolvent," said PCA President and CEO Michael Ireland. "The challenges facing America's roads, bridges and tunnels are considerable and Nason brings the type of experience that is needed for this important position. PCA believes the full Senate will con- firm Nason in the near future and PCA looks forward to developing a strong working relationship with her going forward." Nason, a former National Highway Traffic Safety Adminis- tration chief (2006-2008), is currently assistant secretary of the Bureau of Administration. She previously served as the acting assistant secretary for overseas building operations and as senior advisor to the Secretary of State. PCA Launches 'Hard Facts' Podcast The Portland Cement Association (PCA) announced the launch of a new podcast series. Hard Facts is a podcast exam- ining the best way to pay for the nation's transportation infrastructure and explores money-saving tools available to planners and builders through interviews with members of Congress, the Trump administration and the industry. The premiere episode features PCA President and CEO Michael Ireland explaining the Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) approach to planning infrastructure projects. Ire- land makes the case why this tool will stretch federal invest- ment dollars. "It's taking a look at a way to make sure the money you're spending is spent wisely. That's why we encourage using Life Cycle Cost Analysis," Ireland said in Episode 1. "We're not telling you what product essentially is going to be picked or endorsing one particular product over another, the actual engineering tool does that. There's going to be places where one product is better than another product, and perhaps both products are used on different parts of the system. It's fair, it's engineering, and it's science." PCA Congratulates 2018 EPA ENERGY STAR Certified Plants The Portland Cement Association (PCA) congratulated the 24 cement plants out of the 100 total manufacturing plants across all industries that received U.S. Environmental Pro- tection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR certification for their superior energy performance in 2018. "America's cement manufacturer's commitment to sus- tainable manufacturing have led to improved equipment reliability, energy efficiency, and the increased the use of alternative fuels." said PCA President and CEO Mike Ireland. "The cement manufacturing sector's stand out efforts and leadership in this program is evidence of that culture. " EPA's ENERGY STAR industrial program provides indus- try-specific energy benchmarking tools and other resourc- es for 19 different types of manufacturing plants, enabling plants to compare energy performance to others in the same industry and establish meaningful energy perfor- mance benchmarks and goals. Only plants in the top 25 percent of energy performance nationwide can earn the ENERGY STAR certification. Ed Sullivan Nicole Nason

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