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PCA Projects 43 Percent Growth in U.S. Cement Consumption by 2030

It is predicted the U.S. will need another 400,000 lane miles of highway by 2030 to accommodate some 43 million more drivers.

Perhaps inspired by the sport book odds makers in Vegas, the Portland Cement Association (PCA) during the World of Concrete trade show, January 21-25 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, predicted a 43 percent growth in U.S. cement consumption by 2030 to supply the housing, buildings and roads of a U.S. population projected to reach 363.5 million by that year. PCA believes annual cement consumption will hit 183 million metric tons, reflecting a 55 million metric ton increase compared to the past cyclical peak level in 2005.
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While half the rise in cement consumption will be due to population growth, the remaining half will be driven by per capita cement consumption, according to the PCA. For example, highway construction will probably experience large gains. To meet the demand for a few more drivers—say, oh, about 49 million more! (Editorial note to transportation officials and politicians: Please, please shift your focus from building hundreds of thousands more miles of roads to getting serious about mass transit.) It’s conservatively estimated those new drivers will need another 400,000 lane miles of highway by 2030.

PCA projects cement use in home building will rise from today’s seven percent to 30 percent, as builders will opt more and more for the energy efficiency of insulated concrete wall construction.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development says that apart from water, concrete is the most widely used material on Earth, which translates to each person on the planet using about three tons each year. About seven to 15 per cent of that concrete is made up of cement.

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June 18, 2019, 6:36 pm PDT

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