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|Cement production in Australia approximates 6.5 million tonnes per year. Cement clinker is sourced from 15 plants which operate 28 kilns. Cement grinding is conducted at 14 of the clinker plants plus 7 grinding plants. Average annual capacity per kiln or plant is lower than in many overseas countries, but kilns introduced since 1970's have been of larger size more in keeping with size trends overseas, although still smaller than the large units overseas. Substantial economies in capital and labour costs can be achieved in large production units, particularly with dry process kilns using precalcination techniques in which part of the fuel is introduced in the static preheater section ahead of the kiln while the balance is added to the kiln in a conventional manner. Precalcination techniques have been introduced to the Australian cement industry but as cement transport costs form a major part of supplying diverse market areas, the size of kilns is likely to remain less than maximum owing to balance with distribution costs. The cement industry uses significant amounts of thermal and electrical energy which can be minimised by proper selection of equipment and technology. Labour costs are also significant and can be contained by automation and computer control of the process.|