Faced with the price of gas multiplied by 10, what is the reaction of Terreal, the European number two in tiles?

The French tile market represents 42 million m² of roofs in 2021, ie about 320,000 roofs. Terreal (699 million euros in turnover in 2021, 3,228 employees worldwide), the second European manufacturer of clay tiles, represents almost a third of French roofs, i.e. more than 105,000 roofs each year. However, making tiles is an industry whose production process uses a lot of electrical and thermal energy. At Terreal, the energies required to produce the tiles are distributed as follows: 85% natural gas and 15% electricity.

The company faces gas prices that are almost multiplied by ten

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

Significant increase with consequences in production cost. ” Energy is 20% of the total cost of making a tile “, he determined. And by extension, in sales prices:

We passed a significant increase, in double digits, in January in the price of tiles, then in April when, on average, the annual increase is in the order of 3% “said Jean-Baptiste Fayet.

The French manufacturer of terracotta building materials was even forced to stop production for two to three weeks at the beginning of the year, at two of its French sites, due to rising gas prices… However, , the manufacturer remains positive because the construction market is well targeted for 2022 and the order books are full. ” For roofing repair contracts, the supply of materials represents 30% of the estimate. In fact, the increase in our prices will have an impact on the roofers’ quotes to their customers. But, in the end, it weighs only a third of the estimate, ie between 10% and 15% increase in estimates of roofs. for end customers “, he determined.

In Chagny, heat is extracted to reduce gas consumption

Since June, the Chagny site is the second of the group – after the Mureaux site (Yvelines) – to be equipped with a heat exchanger, the result of research work that began in 2016. The principle is to change the heat resulting from the cooking of the tiles close to 1,000°C, through a tubular exchanger, power to supply the raw materials production area and thus reduce gas consumption “, explained Xavier Grosjean, head of Terreal’s engineering division.

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

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

Goals: 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 to be more efficient in terms of energy and more virtuous in terms of carbon emissions. “, emphasized 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 start similar projects this year. ” Chagny serves as a pilot in terms of technological choices and especially in materials “, he said.

In its energy reduction program, Terreal is considering about sixty projects to achieve its goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030: replacing gas with other energies, such as of biomass, synthesis of local production, biogas (given the Chagny site. through anaerobic digestion plant of 30% of its energy consumption), solar electric system, electric hot water production, etc. ” It is the combination of all these projects that will allow us to achieve our goals. », assured Jean-Baptiste Fayet.