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GRI at Global Gypsum Conference 2010
15-11-2010 09:15

Trends in use of recycled gypsum in the European plasterboard industry

At the recently held Global Gypsum Conference 2010 in Versailles on October 25-26, our CEO, Henrik Lund-Nielsen, made a presentation for the 350 gypsum industry conference participants, about the trends in use of recycled gypsum in the European plasterboard industry.

Mr. Lund-Nielsen argued that although his presentation was focused on Europe, it would be relevant for all parts of the world as Europe is leading the way in recycling, and what happens in Europe will happen in the other parts of the world a few years later.

Mr. Lund-Nielsen’s main point was that increased and restrictive EU regulations on gypsum waste would mean, that a very significant volume - up to 3 million tons p.a. in Europe - of recycled gypsum would be made available to the gypsum consuming industry at very favorable prices. To predict what the consequence of this would be, Mr. Lund-Nielsen made a very illustrative parallel with what happened when large amounts of cheap FGD became available to the industry some 30 years ago.

During the last 30 years FGD moved from being a marginal source of gypsum for a few first-movers among the plants into being the preferred source of gypsum for the industry as a whole, mainly as a result of that the FGD could be sourced much cheaper than natural rock gypsum. In the process the industry adopted the applied technology and logistic equipment to get the full benefit of the new material, even to the extent that new plants in the last years had been erected in new and previously unthinkable locations, simply to be able to base the supply situation 100% on cheap FGD supply.

On this basis Mr. Lund-Nielsen predicted that the same would happen with recycled gypsum, and that is was the plants that first started to adapt to this new situation, that would reap the biggest benefits. As a consequence Mr. Lund-Nielsen predicted that within 30 years Europe would see the first new plant being based on and located optimally for the supply of recycled gypsum which would make up 100% of the gypsum used. Such a plant would have unbeatable competitive advantages in terms of the cost of raw materials in addition to having much lower inbound transport and outbound distribution costs, as a result of being located close to where the waste is generated; in the bigger cities of Europe, like Paris, London, Berlin etc.

The presentation was also supported by a written paper.

Download the presentation here.

Download the paper here.

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