Alarm about construction stop throughout Sweden: Cement will soon run out

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Published July 18, 2021 at 14.12

Economics. Sweden is facing an extensive construction halt due to an acute shortage of cement following a climate ruling against Cementa AB. As early as November, 3 out of 4 new homes will not be able to start construction – and up to 400,000 jobs will be threatened, according to the construction industry.

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– The situation is very serious. Sweden is facing an extensive construction halt. The cement shortage will have extensive consequences for the Swedish economy and employment, says Byggföretagen's CEO Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd in a press release.

The background is that the Supreme Land and Environmental Court on 6 July rejected Cementa AB's application for a renewed permit to mine limestone in the existing quarries in Slite on Gotland. This after Cementa was singled out as a “climate culprit” by its carbon dioxide emissions. The ruling is also justified by the fact that the operation's impact on the groundwater has not been sufficiently investigated.

The company's permit to mine limestone and marl stone therefore expires on the last day of October.

3 out of 4 new homes will not be able to start construction in November.

“Several large infrastructure projects are stopped or delayed. Between 200,000 and 400,000 jobs are threatened. The loss of investment is estimated at over SEK 20 billion, per month”, writes Construction companies.

Byggföretagen, Byggnads, IF Metall, Industriarbetsgivarna, Svensk Betong and Svemin have jointly requested an urgent crisis meeting with Minister of Trade and Industry Ibrahim Baylan (S) in order to discuss the situation that has arisen.

– The construction industry has worked throughout the pandemic and created value for Sweden. This is worse than the crisis we had in the 90s when many lost their jobs, says Johan Lindholm, Chairman of the Association of Buildings, in a press release.

Manufacturing in Slite today accounts for about 75 percent of the cement used in Sweden. The current mining permit expires on October 31, 2021. As early as November, the cement stock in Slite will run out.

According to Byggföretagen, it is not possible to solve the acute cement shortage by importing the necessary volumes, “depending on other suppliers, logistics systems and technical requirements “.

” Conversion to completely replace cement production from Slite with imports can take up to several years to get in place “, writes Byggföretagen.