2013 saw the first indications of a sustained improvement in demand since before the recession. As a result we
hope that the operation of our kilns and dryers at sub-optimal performance may be coming to an end.
During the year we commissioned a major upgrade to one of our installations where we expect the energy
consumption per tonne of product to be significantly reduced and the consequent CO2 emissions also reduced.
However, despite all of the promising signs in the market and the benefits of our investments we are
increasingly aware that environmental levies and taxes placed upon energy supplies in the UK will risk making
the UK brick industry less competitive than European competitors. The Government has made some monies
available to energy intensive industries to offset these levies and taxes but unfortunately they are all related to
exemption from the indirect costs of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) for electricity
generation. Because of the way that the rules for this exemption are drawn up they specifically exclude heavy
clay ceramics such as bricks from any benefits which are available to many other energy intensive industries.
We are left with either having to pass these increasing costs on to our customers (which European competitors
do not have to do) or reduce the accrued benefits of our investments.
One piece of good news received in 2013 was the acceptance by the Government that the Climate Change Levy
(CCL) should not apply to processes that involve mineral transformation by direct heating - which is the case for
ceramics. Whilst this is welcome this levy is dwarfed by other taxes and levies that we are still obliged to
continue to pay without compensation (please see above). Additionally, in the future we may be liable for a
replacement levy in a few years’ time which may in fact be a larger sum of money due than the savings from not
paying the CCL.
To view or download the full Ibstock Environmental Report 2013 click here.