Cement, lime, and plaster is a growing component of the global economy as construction ramps up after the Great Recession. As the global economy recovers – and, in some places, surpasses pre-recession levels – demand for new construction increases to the point where material handling is growing.
One area in particular that has noticed a definite uptick in cement, lime, and plaster is the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which covers Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman.
According to one report, investments in cement, lime, and plaster production exceeded $18 billion (USD) in 2015, as the number of factories producing these materials increased by four percent, to 69 factories in 2016.
Labor in this field also grew from 25,305 to 26,469 over the past 12 months.
When it comes to the building materials industry, cement, lime, and plaster factories made up 2.4 percent of all building material factories in the GCC, but 47.3 percent of the total investments and 9.7 percent of the labor force within this field. In other words, out of the entire building materials industry (encompassing the production and distribution of every material that is used to construct buildings), almost half of all investment dollars are going to cement, lime, and plaster.
Included in this particular field is the manufacture of hydraulic cements and clinkers, along with quicklime, hydraulic lime, slaked lime, calcined gypsum, and calcined sulphate, among others.
The demand for construction materials has only grown in the GCC as these countries have continued their torrid growth in building construction. In Saudi Arabia, for example, demand for cement grew by seven percent in 2015 and is expected to grow by another five percent through the end of 2016.
Improving Material Handling in Cement and Lime
The surge in demand for cement, lime, and plaster isn’t confined just to the GCC. Most developed nations have witnessed an increase in demand for building materials thanks to new construction initiatives.
This has led to a growth in demand for material handling infrastructure designed to move large quantities of cement, lime, and plaster from the producer to distributors and end users. We anticipate more entities will require not only improved or enhanced systems, but also new infrastructure as they expand to meet more demand.
Producers who have not already evaluated their existing material handling system need to consider analyzing the performance of their infrastructure. They also need to think about working with experts to upgrade and improve upon a facility’s capabilities in order to improve profit margins and lower long-term costs.