Productivity up, energy consumption down in portland cement milling

Sources: Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.; CP staff

PCA’s latest U.S. Labor-Energy Input Survey shows the amount of energy required to produce one ton of portland cement—4.4 million Btu, on average—dropped 1.1 percent in 2014 from previous levels, and equates to domestic plants’ most energy efficient year on record.

The survey also finds rising use of alternative fuels, which provided 15 percent of total plant energy needs in 2014 and are now part of the energy mix in 75 percent of U.S. cement mills. On the labor front, PCA researchers report that domestic plant productivity last year averaged 3.17 metric tons per employee hour, a 2.6 percent jump from 2013 figures. The increase contrasts with overall U.S. labor productivity trends for the same period, with manufacturing and farming up 1.3 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.