The World Cement Association appointed Zhiping Song, chairman of China National Building Materials (CNBM), as its new president. This is the first time a representative from a Chinese organization has taken the helm of an international cement association.
Song gave his first keynote address as association president last month at the WCA World Cement Conference in London, organized in association with Intercem. More than 100 senior delegates from 29 countries attended the first edition of the global event.
“It is a great honor for me to speak at this conference and a good opportunity for us to share our experience, build consensus and seek common development,” Song said.
WCA Chairman Emir Adiguzel commented, “We are delighted Mr. Song has accepted the presidency of the WCA. CNBM is the world’s largest provider of cement and this appointment reflects the growing importance of China in the global cement industry, as well as the WCA’s commitment to connecting the cement community in all countries across the world.”
Song’s speech marked the opening of the conference, which focused on key issues and challenges the cement industry is facing, including sustainability and global overcapacity.
In his keynote address, Song explained how CNBM is working to reduce overcapacity and increase industrial concentration by implementing large-scale rationalization, reducing new production and reorganizing M&A strategy, while expanding the business.
“We have been increasing the degree of industrial concentration of cement in China from 12 percent in 2006 to 57 percent in 2016, which set an example for the whole industry,” Song said.
As chairman of the world’s largest provider of cement, with a capacity of 530 million tpy, Song emphasized CNBM’s efforts in the area of environmental protection.
“The production of cement strongly depends on resources and is sensitive to the environment […] We put environment first because we know that some changes will be irreversible if the environment is damaged, Song said.”
CNBM relies on recycling and uses the heat of burnt industrial waste to power its plants whenever possible. Technological innovation allows the cement group to optimize the production cycle to reduce emissions and energy consumption.
As the newly appointed president of the WCA, Song said he will embrace the importance of joint efforts.
“I want to unite members, actively strive for support from all sectors including governments and non-governmental organizations, safeguard interests of the industry, fulfil social responsibilities and promote the sustainable development of the global cement industry in the future,” Song proclaimed.
Song has more than 30 years of experience in business and management in China’s building material industry. He has been chairman of CNBM since October 2005, and previously served other board-level roles at China United, BNBMG and China National Pharmaceutical Group Corp.