We will only have this information when the first industrial plant is in production. Many of the costs (electricity, raw materials, fuels, personnel, etc.) are also variable and cannot be estimated in the long term. Until then we are starting from the design data and relying on qualified internal profitability calculations based on data from the pilot plant. You will understand that we are not making this information public but be assured that no prudent investor invests in a plant without a dependable business plan.
Since 2009 SCHWENK alone has invested about 11 million Euros in the Celitement project. The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has also made considerable resources available through the provision of personnel and equipment as part of a cooperation agreement. However, we do not know the precise figure. In total, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has sponsored the KIT, Celitement GmbH and SCHWENK over the last 10 years by about 5 million Euros through two large funded projects.
As much as possible and as little as necessary … But to be serious, we are assuming that Celitements will initially have to be offered in the price range of really top-quality white cements or probably even higher. We are letting this be known quite openly as the development of applications that would possibly not be marketable in spite of the technological added value when using Celitements and a binding agent price of, for example, €200 per tonne, will probably not be of interest at first. When it is introduced into the market Celitement will certainly not be able enter into a price competition with the mass product grey cement. This is produced in highly optimized cement plants with very high production outputs and corresponding economies of scale. When compared with a typical cement plant that produces over 1 million tonnes per year, the production divisor of the first 50,000 t/a Celitement industrial plant will, after all, be smaller by a factor of 20. The initial industrial production of Celitement will also involve the use of carefully selected raw materials in order to gain production experience and to produce a very high grade and, in particular, very uniform product quality. Any risks with the product properties should be avoided as far as possible when entering the market. At least initially, this will increase the production costs. In contrast to Portland cement’s development tradition of over 150 years Celitement must not develop “from the bottom up”, i.e. upwards from a poor performance to a higher one, but rather “top down”. As far as price and performance are concerned we are benchmarking ourselves not against mass cements but against the top products of classical binding agent systems and other high grade special binding agents. In this market sector it will certainly be possible to offer Celitement at a price that is in line with the market. Only after a few years do we think that it will be possible to compete in the mass market in terms of price.