Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Levy 'could spell death' of UK cement industry


UK CEMENT producers have returned empty handed from a key meeting with Government on a 'green levy' which is said to threaten the future of cement manufacture in the UK.

The British Cement Association met with the Department of the Environment Transport and the Regions and its consultants ETSU last Friday. The meeting was called to discuss the controversial Climate Change Levy, which is intended to cut CO2 emissions by encouraging greater energy efficiency and reduced fossil fuel use by manufacturing industries.

The cement industry claims the full levy would cost it more than £40M a year, making it unable to compete with foreign imports once the tax comes into force in April 2001.

'The levy could sound the death knell to the whole UK cement industry,' said one insider. 'European producers who have a much more relaxed legislative framework would be able to land cement here at prices we couldn't match.'

The industry was seeking a reduction of more than 90%. But the BCA said that 'no decisions were finalised', and the DETR would say only that the meeting had been 'constructive and helpful'.

Cement producers have been making two key points to the DETR during the course of the negotiations. The first is the major effort already made to improve energy efficiency, including new works and the switch from wet process kilns to the more efficient dry kilns.

Second, say the producers, their increasing use of waste-derived fuels such as old tyres and packaging offcuts not only saves fossil fuels but reduces the pressure on landfill sites.

Originally the deadline for agreement on the levy was the end of October, to give Government time to present detailed proposals in next year's spring budget. This has been extended to 20 December.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.