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Pakistan: A new gypsum plant is under construction in Karachi, Pakistan, under the name of United Gypsum. The plant will include 100,000t/yr of gypsum powder capacity and 10Mm2/yr of gypsum wallboard capacity. It is expected to start in the middle of 2016.
Written by Global Gypsum staff
11 September 2015
UK: The Carbon Trust has awarded Knauf UK the Carbon Trust Standard for Carbon in recognition of its success in reducing its carbon emissions. The Carbon Trust is the world's leading independent certification organisation and the award is a step forward for the gypsum industry as a whole.
"We're particularly proud to have achieved the Carbon Trust Standard because it reflects the company's commitment to sustainability throughout its operations," said Lorna Stork, Knauf UK's sustainability manager. "We manufacture products that are energy-intensive to produce, so this achievement not only owes a lot to improvements at factory level, but also shows that we believe in managing carbon and energy use in other areas."
Knauf has re-formulated the composition of its wallboard to reduce water content and the energy consumption required to dry them. The result is that, across the company, the average board weight has fallen by 2% over the past five years, leading to a cut in energy consumption of over 5%. Knauf has also achieved considerable energy savings in the drying process. 10GWh of gas were saved at the company's Kent facility and a further 2.8GWh at its Hull plant. These savings have been reinforced with other initiatives, including the implementation of ISO 50001, energy targets for board production, monitoring programmes and sourcing lower moisture raw materials.
Knauf has also examined other elements of its business in terms of carbon use, including handling and distribution. There have been marked improvements in Knauf's own energy consumption by forklifts and other site vehicles due to monitoring of fuel usage and training staff on how to operate the plant and equipment optimally.
"Knauf's attitude towards carbon reduction is commendable and the company's efforts have led to a significant reduction of over 5%. The company is an example of what can be achieved going beyond business-as-usual and innovating to improve your environmental impact," said Darran Messem, managing director of certification at the Carbon Trust. "Achieving the Carbon Trust Standard is one thing, but keeping it is a constant task, not one that is achieved by a single initiative. As a company, we are committed to that aim and to everything that it implies."
Written by Global Gypsum staff
10 September 2015
Belarus: Belarusian gypsum wallboard demand will decrease by 12.5 - 17% in 2015, according to OJSC Belgips and FLLC Knauf Marketing, key players in the country. According to the companies' executives, the fall is a consequence of reducing funding of the construction industry and a decline in commercial real estate.
"In 2014, gypsum wallboard consumption in Belarus amounted to about 12Mm2. In 2015, we estimate that the consumption will decrease to 10 - 10.5Mm2," said the director of Belgips, Stanislav Babitsky. The director of FLLC Knauf Marketing Alexander Babkin confirmed the 2014 market size at 12Mm2 and said that he expects demand in 2015 to fall to 10Mm2.
The head of corporate communications of Knauf for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Leonid Moose said that the main consumer of wallboard in Belarus was the business-to-business (B2B) sector, namely, the commercial real estate market. Out of the total wallboard consumption, the B2B sector had 70%, while the business-to-consumer (B2C) sector had 30%.
"The commercial real estate market is falling, while the population is beginning to save money and invest it in repairs. For this reason, we are observing the fall of consumption of gypsum wallboard and, at the same time, the growth of consumption, in particular, of dry building mixes, whose main consumer is the B2C sector," said Moose. "Meanwhile in Europe, wallboard is being increasingly used for partitions in individual building more than in Belarus."
Meanwhile, the demand for gypsum wallboard from the population has intensified, according to Babitsky. "The consumption of wallboard is increasing due to the growth in framed-monolithic housing in Belarus. During the last two years, the consumption growth was 20%. It smoothes the fall in demand from the commercial sector," said Babitsky. He added that another negative factor on the Belarusian market is the increased competition on the part of Russian players because of the Russian Ruble devaluation and the Russian wallboard market narrowing. Russia's wallboard production is around 600Mm2/yr, while consumption is 250Mm2. As such, exports to Belarus have increased.
Belgips plans to develop new products for sale on the domestic and export markets. According to Gubanova, the company is considering entry into Lithuania and Latvia.
Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan exported 36,920t of gypsum in the first half of 2015, some 40.9% less than in the same period of 2014 as reported by the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan. This was confirmed by the National Statistics Office of Georgia, which receives 100% of the Azerbaijani exports of gypsum.
According to the official figures of Azerbaijan, the declared revenue from gypsum sales abroad totalled US$566,580. However, Georgia has recorded US$5.1m of gypsum imports from Azerbaijan. Georgia has also reported that US$1.38m of gypsum was imported from Azerbaijan in July 2015. Azerbaijani customs issued the goods at the price of US$15.3/t, while in Georgia it was priced at US$138/t. In the first half of 2014, Azerbaijani gypsum was quoted in Georgia at the price of US$170/t.
In the first half of 2015, Azerbaijani gypsum production increased by 1.3% year-on-year to 92,200t, according to the State Statistics Committee. Azerbaijan also imports gypsum from Iran (860t) and Turkey (6.6t). One tonne of imported gypsum is registered for customs duties and taxes at the price of US$52.9/t, three times more expensive than in the first quarter of 2014.
India: Saint Gobain Gyproc will set up a new US$60m manufacturing plant in India. "We have identified western India as suitable location for the new plant," said V Subramanian, Managing Director of Gypsum Business for Saint Gobain India. A final decision on the location will be taken by the end of 2015.
Gyproc India already has three manufacturing plants in the country in Jind (near Delhi), Wada (near Mumbai) and Bengaluru. The combined production capacity of these plants is about 46Mm2/yr. "Our capacity utilisation ratio is very high. The proposed new plant will add another 30Mm2/yr of capacity,'' added Subramanian.