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Cement News

»   » Cement board plant for Nigeria
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 09:21:11 +0000

Cement board plant for Nigeria

Nigeria: Sinoria FABCOM, a Chinese building materials and structural engineering firm, has announced plans to open a fibre cement board manufacturing factory in Abuja. The company, which is part of the Chinese global giant Sinoma, already has an industrial complex in Kuje Abuja, where it makes roofing products.

Liuxing Wang, Managing Director of Sinoria FABCOM, said that the new line of products would be the first of their kind to be manufactured in West Africa. He added that his company had decided to diversify into fibre cement board due to Nigeria’s raw materials and the success that it has already had with its stone-coated roofing sheets in the country.

Wang further commended the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari for creating the ‘right atmosphere for industrial growth’ of the country, noting that within the next decade Nigeria stands the chance of becoming an industrial giant.

»   » Pakistani cement exporters in plea over South African anti-dumping duty
Fri, 19 Apr 2019 09:18:51 +0000

Pakistani cement exporters in plea over South African anti-dumping duty

Pakistan: Cement exporters based in Pakistan have urged the Ministry of Commerce to approach South African authorities with the aim of overturning the existing anti-dumping duty on Pakistani cement.
"Before anti-dumping duty, annual cement exports to South Africa were worth US$700m. Now it has gone down to US$100m," said Mohammad Rafiq Memon, Chairman of the Pakistan-South Africa Business Forum (PSABF). He said that the forum was trying its best to get this issue resolved and that Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce should send a delegation to South Africa to convince the authorities to review the duty. He added that he was optimistic that South Africa would review the anti-dumping duty on cement imports and said that the situation was likely to improve by 2020.

He said that PSABF also has plans to establish a trade centre in South Africa by the end of December 2019, at which Pakistani manufacturers and exporters would be able to display samples of their products and services, along with relevant contact information. This would result in effectively promoting Pakistani products, not only in the South African market, but in other African states.

»   » Aalborg Portland increases turnover in 2018
Fri, 19 Apr 2019 09:17:10 +0000

Aalborg Portland increases turnover in 2018

Denmark: Aalborg Portland Cement increased its turnover by 5% to Euro1.19bn in 2018, from Euro1.14bn in 2017. It attributed the growth largely to acquisitions it made in recent years. It saw its sales drop slightly in Denmark but exports to nearby markets and to the US increased.

Aalborg Portland's profit after tax increased to Euro140m in 2018 from Euro119m in 2017. Its profit margin increased to 12.8% from 12.6%.

»   » LafargeHolcim proposes three new board members
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 12:14:35 +0000

LafargeHolcim proposes three new board members

Switzerland: The Board of Directors of LafargeHolcim will propose that its shareholders approve the appointment of three new Members of the Board, after acknowledgement of the departure of two current Board members, at the Annual General Meeting on 15 May 2019.

The Board of Directors will nominate Colin Hall, Naina Lal Kidwai and Claudia Sender Ramirez for election as new Board Members. Nassef Sawiris and Gérard Lamarche have decided not to stand for re-election.

As the Head of Investments of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, a major shareholder of LafargeHolcim, Colin Hall will add extensive experience in international finance to the Board. As one of India's most successful businesswomen, Naina Lal Kidwai held a number of senior leadership positions at ANZ Grindleys Bank and HSBC in India and Asia Pacific. She has a particular interest in environmental topics. Claudia Sender Ramirez will bring to the Board her wide-ranging marketing and emerging market experience from leadership positions at LATAM Airlines Group and Whirlpool in Latin America.

Beat Hess, Chairman of the Board of Directors at LafargeHolcim, said, "On behalf of the entire Board I would like to thank Nassef Sawiris and Gérard Lamarche for their important contribution to the success of our company over the past years. I am very delighted that we are proposing three new members whose unique experience will complement the expertise of our existing Board members. It is a particular pleasure for me that with the new nominations we will be able to further increase the geographical and gender diversity of our Board."

All other current members of the Board of Directors will be proposed for re-election at the Annual General Meeting: Beat Hess (Chairman), Oscar Fanjul (Vice-Chairman), Paul Desmarais, Jr., Patrick Kron, Adrian Loader, Jürg Oleas, Hanne Birgitte Breinbjerg Sørensen and Dieter Spälti.

»   » Catalonian cement consumption falls again
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 12:13:03 +0000

Catalonian cement consumption falls again

Spain: Cement consumption in Catalonia between February 2018 and February 2019 reached 1.76Mt, 4.7% less than a year earlier, according to regional association Ciment Català. The president of the organisation, Salvador Fernández Capo, stressed that this situation could be explained by economic uncertainty, rising electricity prices and a lack of construction projects in the region.

»   » Sanctions drive Iranian cement into Afghanistan
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 12:08:11 +0000

Sanctions drive Iranian cement into Afghanistan

Iran/Afghanistan: Exports of cement from Iran to Afghanistan have increased following the resumption of US-led sanctions on Iran. Speaking on Afghanistan’s Tolo News TV, Janagha Navid, the spokesman of Afghanistan's Chamber of Commerce and Industries, said that Afghanistan imports 80,000t/yr of cement, while stressing that the country’s domestic cement production capacity could increase to 420,000t/yr.

Navid added that cement imports from Pakistan had decreased, while imports from Iran had risen, due to depreciation of the Iranian Rial against foreign currencies. He further highlighted that Afghan customers prefer Iranian cement over Pakistani cement, citing quality considerations. In 2018, Iran exported US$127m-worth of cement to Afghanistan, broadly similar to imports from Pakistan, which came to US$132m.

»   » Cemex Colombia‘s long road to Maceo
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 10:58:25 +0000

Good news for Cemex Colombia this week with an agreement reached to open its Maceo cement plant in Antioquia. Local media was reporting that the cement producer has struck a government-brokered deal with CI Calizas y Minerales to lease the land it built its plant on. Finally, the new(ish) US$350m integrated plant can start operation.

For those unfamiliar with the debacle, Cemex has been fighting the fallout publicly since 2016, following a dodgy land deal at the site. The 1Mt/yr integrated Maceo plant was originally announced in 2014 with full operation scheduled for late 2016. Then, in October 2016 Cemex fired several senior staff members in relation to the project and its subsidiary’s chief executive resigned. This followed an internal audit and investigation into payments worth around US$20m made to a non-government third party in connection with the acquisition of the land, mining rights and benefits of the tax free zone for the project. Other irregularities are also alleged to be linked to the project. As well as the Colombian authorities being involved, the US Department of Justice is also running its own investigation into the affair with wider implications for Cemex’s operations in other Latin American countries. Some of the sacked staff members and others have since been investigated on corruption charges.

 Graph 1: Cement production in Colombia, 2010 – 2018. Source: DANE.

Graph 1: Cement production in Colombia, 2010 – 2018. Source: DANE.

Looking at the wider Colombian market though, it does make one wonder whether the long-delayed plant is really necessary. As Graph 1 shows, cement production rose steadily year-on-year to 2015 before it hit a downturn. It reached a high of 13Mt in 2015 before declining. Production in 2018 grew slightly compared to 2017 but not at the same rate seen previously. In Antioquia specifically despatches increased by 1.3% in 2018, above the national average of 0.2%. Despatches now appear to have continued into January and February 2019.

Cemex Colombia started to benefit from an improved fourth quarter in 2018 as the general economy picked up. Despite this its overall net sales and operating earnings fell in 2018. However, it did flag its earnings margin as a concern with higher freight and energy costs in the fourth quarter of 2018, although it partially offset this with higher prices. Cementos Argos, the other big producer in Colombia, reported a similar picture to Cemex, although in a better position. Its cement volumes fell slightly for the year in 2018 but picked up fast in the fourth quarter. Annual revenue was down slightly, as were adjusted earnings. In its opinion the construction industry improved in the second half of 2018 due to an improved housing market and infrastructure projects.

Given the downturn in production since 2015 the thought does occur whether the opening of the Maceo plant being delayed accidentally helped Cemex or not. It has probably been losing money by not running the plant but if, for example, the company had some sort of insurance to protect it against unexpected delays it might still benefit. However, if evidence of serious wider misconduct in both Colombia and other Latin American countries are found by the US authorities, then things could get expensive. This would be unfortunate, particularly in Colombia, given that the market looks set to recover.

»   » Saud Suliman Al Juhani appointed as chairman of Tabuk Cement
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 10:57:32 +0000

Saudi Arabia: Tabuk Cement has appointed Saud Suliman Al Juhani as its new chairman. It follows the resignation of Saeed Obaid, who has left the position due to other business commitments but will retain a seat on the board. Tareq Khalid Al Angari has also been appointed as the Vice Chairman. Both positions will last until 25 January 2020.

»   » US Concrete appoints Ronnie Pruitt as president and chief operating officer
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 10:56:44 +0000

US: US Concrete has appointed Ronnie Pruitt as its president and chief operating officer. Pruitt will continue to report to chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) William J Sandbrook and, in this expanded role, will take over many corporate functions that support the company's operational business units.

Pruitt, aged 48 years, has been with US Concrete since 2015 and has over 25 years of industry experience. Prior to joining US Concrete, he served as Vice President of Martin Marietta Materials and as Vice President of Cement Production and Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Texas Industries (TXI).

»   » Michael Lambert appointed to the management board of Vecoplan
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 10:54:05 +0000

Germany: Michael Lambert has been appointed to the management board of Vecoplan. He has been responsible for the company’s commercial operations since 2014 and is the manager of its European subsidiaries. In this capacity he supports Werner Berens, who has been chief executive officer (CEO) of Vecoplan since 2012 and is in charge of Vecoplan’s divisions and supply chain activities.

Lambert, aged 40 years, has a degree in business administration and has held a number of management positions. In 2008 he assumed the post of commercial director in the Saar-Gummi Group and he became manager of the group’s non-automotive business in 2011. In January 2014 Lambert went to Vecoplan, where he was appointed chief financial officer (CFO).