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Cement News

»   » French cement market grew by 3 - 4% in 2017
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:52:27 +0000

French cement market grew by 3 - 4% in 2017

France: Bénédicte de Bonnechose of the Syndicat Français de l’Industrie Cimentière (SFIC), the French cement union, says that the market is expected to have grown by 3 - 4% in 2017. Cement consumption reached 17.5Mt in 2016, according to the Agence France Press. De Bonnechose described the growth as a ‘sharp signal’ that the French cement industry was recovering following hitting its lowest levels since the 1960s.

»   » Syndicat Français de l’Industrie Cimentière launches start-up collaborator
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:46:14 +0000

Syndicat Français de l’Industrie Cimentière launches start-up collaborator

France: Syndicat Français de l’Industrie Cimentière (SFIC), the French cement union, has launched Cement Lab, an initiative intended to connect startup companies to the cement industry. Bénédicte de Bonnechose, president of the SFIC, unveiled the project that will link new companies, industry and academia at Station F, a business incubator for startup located at the former Halle Freyssinet railway depot in Paris. Startups featured at the event included Combo Solution, 360 Smart Connect, XtreeE, Smart Cast and Red Bird, who are offering a drone-based method for mine and quarry visualisation.

»   » Court sets date for end of Zambezi Portland Cement case
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:44:41 +0000

Court sets date for end of Zambezi Portland Cement case

Zambia: The High Court of Zambia has set 25 February 2018 as the date it will hand down a judgement on a case involving Zambezi Portland Cement (ZPC) between businessman Rajan Mahtani and the Vetriglia family. The case concerns a battle over the shares and management of the company between Mahtani and members of the Vetriglia family, according to the Times of Zambia. Mahtani originally attempted to close the company in 2015 but the original owners resisted the attempt. However, Mahtani maintains that he holds a majority share in the cement producer.

»   » Cement exports to Haiti from Dominican Republic wane
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:43:28 +0000

Cement exports to Haiti from Dominican Republic wane

Haiti: Cement exports from the Dominican Republic to Haiti have fallen significantly following an import ban introduced in October 2015. Data from the Adocem, the cement association of the Dominican Republic, shows that almost a third of cement produced in the country was exported to Haiti, according to Diario Libre. However this fell to 16.1% by November 2017. Local cement production is 4.77Mt with 3.82Mt sold domestically and the rest exported.

»   » India Cements launches product promotion with cricket team
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:42:15 +0000

India Cements launches product promotion with cricket team

India: India Cements has launched a product promotional offer where customers could win Chennai Super Kings (CSK) merchandise and a chance to meet the players. Under the scheme, any customer purchasing 50 bags or in multiples of 50 bags (50 kg) of Coromandel Super Power between 19 January and 19 April 2018 will be eligible for entry into the promotion, according t the Press Trust of India. Prizes include match tickets, branded clothing and photo opportunities with the captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and other players in the cricket team during the 2018 Indian Premier League.

»   » UltraTech Cement’s profit drops on fuel prices
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:03:00 +0000

UltraTech Cement’s profit drops on fuel prices

India: UltraTech Cement’s profit after tax has dropped in the third quarter of its financial year that ends on 31 March 2018 due to rising costs of petcoke and coal. It also blamed a ban on petcoke usage in some states. Overall, its consolidated profit after tax for the first nine months of its financial year rose by 10% year-on-year to US$3.58bn from US$3.25bn in the same period in 2016. Its profit after tax fell by 10.5% to US$278m from US$311m.

The cement producer said that it had successfully launched the ‘UltraTech Brand’ in all the markets served by the plants it acquired from Jaiprakash Associates in 2017. It reported that production capacity utilisation is at 60% from a low of 18% at the time of the purchase. It is currently appointing new dealers and retailers in its new territories.

»   » Companies reluctant to invest in Egyptian cement industry
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:01:27 +0000

Companies reluctant to invest in Egyptian cement industry

Egypt: The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) has not received any requests for 11 cement plants licenses offered since early 2017. Sources quoted by the Al-Mal newspaper reveal that despite eight local and foreign companies purchasing statements of work by the end of 2017, there has been little interest in the licences.

The IDA offered 14 cement licenses in 2016 to build plants or expand operations in nine governorates. Three licences were sold to SVC, Elsewedy Cement and Egyptian Cement respectively for US$28m in 2016. The remaining licences for Minya, Sohag, Qena, Aswan, New Valley, Matrouh, Suez and South Sinai were re-offered in 2017. Oversupply of cement in the country is estimated to be 30Mt/yr.

»   » Peruvian cement industry finishes 2017 with strong second half
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 11:58:31 +0000

Peruvian cement industry finishes 2017 with strong second half

Peru: The Peruvian cement industry finished 2017 with rises in production and despatches in December 2017. Production rose by 13% year-on-year to 0.898Mt from 0.886Mt and total despatches rose by 1.5% to 0.88Mt from 0.86Mt, according to data from Asociación de Productores de Cemento (Asocem).

Overall, the year couldn’t overcome a poor first half negatively impacted upon by flooding caused by El Niño Costero in early 2017. Production fell by 1.1% to 9.98Mt from 10.1Mt and despatches fell by 1.2% to 9.92Mt from 10Mt. Despite this imports rose by 21% to 0.62Mt from 0.51Mt leading to a slight total increase of despatches and imports.

»   » Azerbaijani cement production increased by a quarter in 2017
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 11:57:24 +0000

Azerbaijani cement production increased by a quarter in 2017

Azerbaijan: Cement production rose by 243% year-on-year to 2.88Mt in 2017. Data from the State Statistics Committee showed that the overall value of building materials produced increased by nearly half to US$333m in the period, according to the Trend News Agency.

»   » Walking the plastics tightrope in Europe
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:43:35 +0000

This week’s Plastics Strategy from the European Commission (EC) presents the cement industry with a narrowing target. If the Plastics Strategy is successful it will prevent plastics waste altogether. This will then eliminate the key calorific content of refuse-derived fuels (RDF) and disrupt co-processing supply chains at cement plants across the continent. If it is too lax then dumping plastics in landfill could become more economically viable, also changing the market dynamic. Neither extreme looks likely at this stage but the European cement industry needs to make its views known.

Cembureau, the European cement association, has done just that today with the publication of a position paper on the subject. It conveniently ignores the top two tiers of the waste hierarchy – prevention and re-use – but it does recognise that ‘high quality recycling’ is the preferred option. This is followed by the target of its lobbying: protecting co-processing. Make no mistake, this is supporting industrial behaviour change with solid environmental benefits. Its areas for policymakers to focus on include protecting co-processing: a ban on landfill; linking energy recovery to recycling; concentrating on the legislation; thinking about material lifespan sustainability benefits; and helping minimise the investment costs for processing facilities.

Providing cool heads prevail, the importance of co-processing plastics as part of any realistic plastics strategy seems unlikely to change any time soon. What’s more likely to be the real target for Cembureau is standardising measures on collection, sorting and material recovery across the European Union (EU). For example, as this column has reported twice in 2017 (GCW288 and GCW324), the issues with waste disposal legislation in Italy have led to various problems in the sector. Waste collectors found it easier to export RDF to Morocco from Italy rather than use it locally in 2016. The slag industry has also reported similar issues with reuse in Italy. The consolidation of the local cement industry following the takeover of Italcementi and Cementir by HeidelbergCement and of Cementizillo by Buzzi Unicem should present a more unified industry approach towards alternative fuels. Backup from the EC could solve the other half of the alternative fuels puzzle in Italy and help to deliver serious change. Ecofys data from 2014 showed the EU co-processing average rate as being 41%, with six countries – Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Bulgaria, Italy and Greece – having rates below 30%.

Vagner Maringolo of Cembureau outlined the market opportunities for waste uptake at cement plants at the 11th Global CemFuels Conference that took place in Barcelona in February 2017. He started by revealing that plastics represented over 40% of the total share of alternative fuels used in the EU in 2014. A ban on landfilling municipal waste was expected to boost the supply of RDF and a Cembureau/Ecofys study on the market potential of alternative fuels concluded that around 10Mt of waste was co-processed in cement kilns in the EU28 in 2015. This represented around 2% of total combustible waste each year but it represented 10% of all of the energy recovery from waste in the EU. In other words co-processing plastics waste offers a very attractive means for the EU to meet its sustainability targets.

However, before Cembureau and the cement industry starts popping the (reusable) champagne corks, consider the wider picture. China has banned imports of foreign waste in 2018 including RDF from the UK, a major exporter. Unless new markets are found this may impact the price of RDF in Europe. Brexit is another example how of European waste markets might be disrupted in the medium-term. Cement producers want a steady supply of cheap fuels but if the providers can’t make enough money from their products then the market will fail. The tightrope for Cembureau to walk with plastics is to promote RDF use and secure its supply. Persuading the EC to support this may involve some wobbling along the way.

The 12th Global CemFuels Conference on alternative fuels for cement and lime takes place in Berlin on 20 – 21 February 2018