An October report saw a drop in quarrying output. Are energy prices to blame and could an efficiency drive help meet demand for construction aggregates?
Mining and quarrying output fell by 8.2% in August, according to the Industrial Production Bulletin of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), published on 12 October 2022. While month-to-month variation is to be expected, this fall in output coincides with a number of factors that make it worthy of consideration.
At the same time, we also know that demand for aggregates is booming. Indeed, Persistence Market Research has predicted that the global construction aggregates market will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8% over the forecast period of 2021 to 2031. One recent UK-specific report, meanwhile, expressed concern that the domestic construction and civil engineering sectors will struggle to obtain enough material in the coming years.
How can both of these things be true at the same time? Could rising energy prices be the cause – and, if so, what can be done about them? Certainly we know that fuel costs are having an impact right across the economy. By the end of October, retail diesel prices had risen to around £1.90 per litre and businesses in every sector of the economy have expressed alarm at rising prices.
Moreover, April this year saw the government put an end to the construction industry’s VAT rebate on red diesel, meaning the sector was already facing price hikes even before inflation hit.
Time for energy efficiency
In light of this, now is the time for efficiency to rise to the top of the agenda. With energy prices expected to remain high, ageing and inefficient plant equipment is a more serious problem than ever, creating a negative impact on the bottom line.
Equipment such as aggregate washing and water treatment plants should perform by not only producing a high tonnes per hour (TPH) throughput, but by doing so without excessive fuel use. Alternatives to diesel power can also be considered, including electric.
At Tyrone International, as part of our commitment to lower total cost of ownership we engineer for all round efficiency, including energy consumption and other hidden costs such as scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, inferior wear parts such as screen decks, log washer blades, chute linings, pipe linings and more. Any of these can cause a cost spiral with operating expenses soon outstripping the initial capital cost of the purchase.
Optimise and improve your aggregate processing efficiency with Tyrone International
To find out how Tyrone International’s game-changing approach to aggregate washing and water treatment plants can transform your operations by increasing productivity and lowering total cost of ownership, get in touch.