The German cement industry plays a key role within the broad spectrum of the construction materials sector, making it a decisive factor for the overall added value generated by the construction industry. This industrial network ranges from suppliers of energy, machines and plants to closely production-related services such as maintenance and transport up to the buyer side consisting of ready-mixed concrete and precast concrete component users, the mortar industry and construction material sellers. The industrial sectors primarily constituting the cement industry as well as the up- and downstream sectors employ around 65,000 people in Germany.
Comprised of a mix of medium-sized companies and major enterprises, the German cement industry consists of 21 businesses and 53 plants. Other industrialised countries in Europe display a far higher concentration. In 2015, the German cement works’ roughly 7,800 employees produced around 31 million tonnes of cement for a turnover of approximately 2.5 billion euros.
The cement industry is characterised by high capital intensity. A newly constructed cement works for production of around 1.5 million tonnes of clinker, for example, requires the investment of roughly 300 million euros. Such an investment of capital takes at least 25 years to amortise.
Irrespective of the construction sector’s economic situation and the increasing internationalisation, the cement industry continues to invest in Germany: between 2008 and 2014, the industry invested a gross total of 1.2 billion euros. The investments made serve not only to ensure competitiveness but also to improve environmental protection. At 6.6 percent (2014), the cement industry’s investment rate is more than twice as high as the average for the producing industries in total (3.2 percent in 2014).
The substance cement is an essential material prerequisite without which creation, maintenance and advancement of a modern industrial society’s hallmarks would be unthinkable: factory and office buildings, human habitation, efficient mobility and supply infrastructure.