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Interview with Jörg Demmich, Consultant, Knauf Group

Jörg speaks to Ashtrans about strategies for securing future supply of gypsum, an increasing demand for natural gypsum, and his expectations for this year’s Ashtrans Europe

You can hear more from Jörg at Ashtrans Europe, taking place in Barcelona on 26 – 27 October 2017.

Ashtrans Europe (AE): Due to an expected decline in the hard coal fired power stations it is likely that the production of desulphurisation gypsum will also go down. For a company like Knauf how do you foresee to secure future supplies?

Jörg Demmich (JD): In terms of decline it is not likely that production of FGD gypsum will decrease, it is a fact due to energy policy of the EC as well of the German government – Germany is still the Member State with the highest FGD gypsum production rate in the EU (7 Mt/y). Both are striving for a total decarbonisation of energy production until 2050. But in the EU we have different strategies from Member State to Member State: First of all for Poland and also other Eastern European countries coal fired power plants are indispensable at least in midterm scenarios, other Member States like Austria or northern countries already achieved nearly 100 % renewables (hydropower) in energy production. Outlining these different strategies will be the core point of my presentation.

AE: Will other gypsum-producing chemical processes be able to fill some of the gap?

JD: No as the quantities of titano, citro and other gypsum kinds are too low. Only for phosphor gypsum there are huge amounts first of all outside the EU. But this gypsum normally possesses a high level of radioactivity which is why most parts of this gypsum are not usable.

AE: Can natural gypsum replace all DSG or would you need to increase recycled gypsum? 

JD: Some years ago Scandinavia and UK started recycling activities in terms of plasterboard waste. Meanwhile other European countries followed. Eurogypsum started in 2013 as a 2 year EU-Live project “GtoG” in order to improve frame conditions and increase gypsum recycling rates in Europe. Last evaluations show that there is only a midterm potential all over Europe of about 2 Mt/y recyclable plasterboard waste. Result: The demand on natural gypsum will increase due to decline of FGD gypsum (currently 18-20 Mt/y in Europe).

AE: Finally, you’re speaking at Ashtrans Europe in October. What are you most looking forward to hearing about?

JD: As the focus of Ashtrans is the fly ash business I am interested in the estimates of the players on future development of coal fired plants in Europe: Do they share my opinion?


This content is provided by Coaltrans Conferences for informational purposes only, and it reflects the market and industry conditions and presenter’s opinions and affiliations available at the time of the presentation.

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