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Faced with a gas price multiplied by 10, how does Terreal, the European number two in tiles, react?

The French tile market represents 42 million m² of roofs in 2021, i.e. around 320,000 roofs. Terreal (699 million euros in turnover in 2021, 3,228 employees worldwide), the second European manufacturer of clay tiles, represents around a third of French roofs, i.e. just over 105,000 roofs per year . However, the manufacture of tiles is an industry whose production process consumes a lot of electrical and thermal energy. At Terreal, the energies needed to manufacture the tiles are distributed as follows: 85% natural gas and 15% electricity.

The company faces a gas price almost multiplied by ten

The gas that we bought between 15 and 20 euros per kilowatt hour before the crisis, now varies from 120 to 140 euros per kilowatt hour, because of the drop in deliveries of Russian gas to Europe “says Jean-Baptiste Fayet, CEO of Terreal.

Significant increases that have consequences on production costs. ” Energy is 20% of the total cost of making a tile “, he specifies. And by extension, on the sale prices:

We passed significant increases, in double digits, in January on the price of tiles, then in April when, usually, the annual increases are of the order of 3% “says Jean-Baptiste Fayet.

The French manufacturer of terracotta building materials was even forced to stop production for two to three weeks at the start of the year, on two of its French sites, because of the rise in the price of gas… However, , the manufacturer remains positive because the building market is well oriented for 2022 and order books are full. ” For roof renovation contracts, the supply of materials represents 30% of the estimate. Certainly, the increase in our prices has an impact on the quotes of the roofers to their customers. But, in the end, it only weighs a third of the estimate, i.e. between 10% and 15% increase on the roofers’ estimates. for end customers “, he specifies.

In Chagny, heat is recovered to reduce gas consumption

Since June, the Chagny site has been the second in the group – after that of the Mureaux site (Yvelines) – to be equipped with a heat exchanger, the result of research work that began in 2016. The principle is to transform the heat resulting from the cooking of the tiles which is close to the 1,000°C, via a tubular exchanger, energy to supply the raw materials production site and thus reduce gas consumption “, explains Xavier Grosjean, head of the engineering division at Terreal.

This represents a savings of 9,000 MWh for operation of 5,200 hours per year, or the equivalent of 900 heated individual houses. The exchanger also makes it possible to avoid 1,675 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, i.e. a reduction of approximately -15% of the site’s direct emissions.

The Chagny project was 45% funded by Ademe and the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Region.

Objectives: reduce its CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030

This type of investment is part of our decarbonization roadmap. We are more than ever focused on these projects in order to be more efficient in terms of energy and more virtuous in terms of carbon emissions. “, emphasizes Jean-Baptiste Fayet.

ISO 5001 certified for energy management, the company is committed to a process of continuous improvement. Two other French sites are already being studied to initiate similar projects this year. ” Chagny served as a pilot in terms of technological choices and especially materials “, he says.

In its energy reduction program, Terreal is considering some sixty projects to achieve its objective of reducing its CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030: substitution of gas by other energies, such as biomass, synthesis with local production, biogas (the Chagny site is supplied by an anaerobic digestion plant for 30% of its energy consumption), solar electric systems, electric hot water production, etc. ” It is the combination of all these projects that will allow us to achieve our objectives. », assures Jean-Baptiste Fayet.