Environmental Sustainability to Play a Pivotal Role in Development of Global Portland Cement Market

Portland cement refers to a key hydraulic binder that is used extensively in concrete. It is used in a variety of construction applications, be it infrastructure, residential, or even commercial. Portland cement is manufactured in an industry that, apart from being energy-intensive, is a key source of greenhouse gas emissions, mostly carbon dioxide. In 2013, infrastructure and residential applications cumulatively held the highest share in the global Portland cement market in terms of consumption.
There is an urgent need for developing ecologically sustainable techniques for manufacturing Portland cement, since each ton of Portland cement that is manufactured releases almost the same quantity of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Reduction of emissions is the need of the hour in the global Portland cement market in order to tackle the effects of surging fuel prices and the imposition of green taxes. Ongoing market trends indicate that expanding at a CAGR of 5.1% from 2014 to 2020, the global Portland cement market will reach US$5,165.1 million tons by the end of the forecast period. 
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What Role Does Urbanization Play in the Growth of the Global Portland Cement Market?
Recovery of the construction sector in the most developed economies and growing urbanization in developing economies are the two prominent factors driving the global Portland cement market. At present, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries are the largest consumers of Portland cement in the world thanks to the robust growth of the construction markets in each of these economies. The cement industry is expanding dramatically in the developing world because of the recent economic recovery from the economic slowdown at the end of the last decade. Economic recovery in turn leads to greater urban prosperity, which leads to urbanization and migration from rural to the urban areas. This leads to growing demand for housing, in which Portland cement plays a crucial role.
Most developing economies have robustly growing construction markets at present and prefer to increase their own cement production capacities and have minimal reliance on cement imports. This is done in order to bring down the overall construction costs and facilitate greater economic development via improved infrastructure. With a rising pool of urban inhabitants in Asia and Africa, the market for Portland cement will grow substantially in these regions over the next three decades. 
Which are the Prominent Players in the Global Portland Cement Market?
The prominent companies in the global Portland cement market are Lafarge SA, Heidelberg Cement AG, Eurocement Group ZAO, Anhui Conch Cement Co. Ltd., UltraTech Cement Ltd., Holcim Ltd., Buzzi Unicem SpA, Italcementi SPA., and China National Building Material (CNBM), amongst others. Heidelberg Cement AG, a Germany-based building materials company, recently reappeared in the M&A arena after it acquired Italcementi, an Italian company manufacturing concrete, cement, and other construction aggregates, for US$7.4 billion. 
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Heidelberg AG has been striving towards attaining financial stability over the past couple of years after the global financial meltdown. After having reached a certain level of financial stability and its failed acquisition of the U.K.-based Hanson International, Heidelberg acquired Italcementi with an expectation of deriving almost €175 million in yearly revenue from this business deal.

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