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Egypt: Misr Cement (Qena) BOD to look into coal conversion
The Board of Directors of Misr Cement (Qena) (MCQE) will hold a meeting on July 20 to discuss the company s project to convert from fuel to coal, an alternative fuel project, and to issue a final decision on the main mill.

The BOD will also discuss the company s financial results for June 30, 2014.
UAECEMENT.COM - Jul, 21 ,2014

New line will triple Cemento Andino’s cement production capacity
Venezuela: Cemento Andino s Trujillo plant in Venezuela is set to undergo a US$240m capacity expansion. The plant currently produces around 600,000t/yr of cement. The construction of a new production line is expected to triple Cemento Andino s capacity. The project will take around two years to complete, generating around 500 direct and 1000 indirect jobs.
UAECEMENT.COM - Jul, 21 ,2014

India: IITs team up to develop eco-friendly cement
Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, along with two other IITs and two institutes from Switzerland and Cuba, are working on eco-friendly cement which has the potential to reduce cement-related carbon emissions by as much as 40 per cent.

Armed with the 4 million Swiss francs (around INR 268 million) funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), researchers from IITs - Madras, Delhi and Mumbai - and the Central University of Las Villas, Cuba, led by the team from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, are working to develop the eco-friendly limestone-calcined clay cement (LC3).

This new blend substitutes up to half of the usual portland cement with the abundant clay and limestone, which promises to reduce cement-related CO2 emissions by up to 40 per cent.

If used globally, LC3 could help bring down future emissions by several notches by reducing energy consumption during processing, which, in turn, would have a major impact on climate change.

The initial results in India demonstrate that this cement can be produced using technology that is widely available in the India, and that the cement can be used by construction workers without any additional training required to handle the material.

Besides these institutes, the application of the technology is led by Technology & Action for Rural Advancement (TARA).

Agreements for research collaboration have been concluded and the research programmes have been kicked-off at the centres involved.

The Indian team is led by Shashank Bishnoi of IIT-D. The other researchers involved are Biswajit Bhattacharjee from IIT-D, Prakash Nanthagopalan from IIT-B, Manu Santhanam, Ravindra Gettu, Radhakrishna Pillai and Sivakumar Palaniappan from IIT-M, and Arun Kumar, Soumen Maity and Palas Kr. Haldar from TARA.

IIT-D and TARA have already demonstrated the feasibility of the new blend with field applications and laboratory tests after which the larger team initiated Phase 1 of the project for scaling-up research and application.

The funding from the SDC will enable EPFL and its partners to do the necessary research and testing for the introduction and standardisation of LC3 so that it makes it to the market as quickly as possible.

Driven by growing need in emerging economies including India, it is felt that the global demand for cement is set to double by 2050.

UAECEMENT.COM - Jul, 19 ,2014

Egypt: Misr Cement (Qena) BOD to look into coal conversion
The Board of Directors of Misr Cement (Qena) (MCQE) will hold a meeting on July 20 to discuss the company s project to convert from fuel to coal, an alternative fuel project, and to issue a final decision on the main mill.

The BOD will also discuss the company s financial results for June 30, 2014.
UAECEMENT.COM - Jul, 18 ,2014

Namibia: Biofuel option for cement-maker
Namibia s Ohorongo Cement plant has come up with an environment-friendly innovative solution with a competitive edge: Blackthorn.

Blackthorn can grow to as high as seven meters (23 feet) and forms impenetrable thickets. It won t let any other species grow in the vicinity, much to the chagrin of local famers.

It is now harvested turning the bush into wood chips used for fuel by Ohorongo Cement, Namibia s only cement manufacturer, giving it a potential edge over some of its competitors on the world market.

Biofuel accounts for 30 per cent of Ohorongo s energy needs; eventually the company wants to raise this figure to 80 per cent.

In the long term, we will be very competitive," said manager Gerhard Hirth. Not having to rely on coal and oil imports, the company was able to keep energy costs down while making a positive contribution to the environment.

We have the technology and the raw materials to produce high quality cement. We manufacture it economically with staff we have trained ourselves who are really very good workers," he said.

Hirth, a German national, comes from Ulm. The family firm Schwenk Zement KG has been in the cement business for the last 160 years. "Nonetheless," he said, Africa was new - and different.

Hirth has invested USD 340 million in Namibia. As well as deploying modern technology, he also chose a logistically favorable location from which his high quality building material can be freighted to Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The plant produces 600,000 tonnes annually, of which 500,000 is destined for the Namibian market. The rest is exported. Namibia is only a small cement producer, neighbouring South Africa is a much bigger player turning out 16.5 million tonnes a year.

UAECEMENT.COM - Jul, 15 ,2014

OCL India commissions Rs 615 crore cement unit in West Bengal
OCL India, an associate of Dalmia Cement Bharat, on Monday commissioned its Rs 615 crore cement manufacturing unit in West Midnapore, West Bengal.

Spread over 154.43 acres, the unit is built on the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation established Godapiasal Industrial Park. This is OCL India s first unit in the state. In addition to the Bengal unit, the company has cement plants at Cuttack and Rajgangpur in Odisha with a combined production capacity of 5.35 MTPA.

Incidentally, the grinding and mixing unit was formally operationalised at an event attended by chief minister Mamata Banerjee, according to a company release.

Good locational advantage in terms of road and rail network, enriched infrastructural support like that of uninterrupted power supply, supply of water for industrial and potable purposes, other basic facilities like sewerage and drainage etc. and incentives available as per The West Bengal State Support for Industry prompted OCL India to set up its plant in Bengal, the company release added.
UAECEMENT.COM - Jul, 15 ,2014

Holcim has no plans to change the ownership of Bamburi Cement
With the pending merger of Holcim and Lafarge, Holcim has answered confusion in Kenya over the future ownership of Bamburi Cement, in which Lafarge has a 58.6% controlling stake. “We have no intention of making a take-over offer for BCL,” Holcim said. “The proposed combination would be structured as a public exchange offer filed by Holcim for all outstanding shares of Lafarge on the basis of a 1 for 1 exchange ratios with an agreement to have equal dividends on a per share basis between announcement and completion…The proposed combination will not effect any changes to the ownership of BCL.”

Lafarge and Holcim this week announced planned divestments to get their merger through competition regulators, with the only planned divestment in Africa being Holcim’s assets in Mauritius
UAECEMENT.COM - Jul, 13 ,2014

New cement plant begins construction in Ghana
A ground-breaking ceremony has taken place for the new Cimaf Ciments de LAfrique cement plant in Tema, Ghana. The €60 million plant is expected to be completed within 18 months and will produce 1 million tpa. President Mahama spoke at the ceremony, saying he hoped that, on completion, the new plant would stabilise prices in the country, which appear to be rising in response to a rumoured shortage of cement on the market. The President dismissed the rumours and discouraged panic buying.

The Ghanaian construction industry is profiting from the country s economic growth, which stands at approximately 7% pa.

The new cement plant is owned by the Moroccan Addoha Group and is Morocco s first industrial investment in Ghana. The plant will employ 1200 people, directly and indirectly, and will be managed by Ghanaians.

The Addoha Group has also signed an MoU with Ghana s government for the construction of 10 000 housing units over seven years, which will help to meet the housing shortage in the country. Other projects, such as schools, clinics, etc. are also in line for the future.

UAECEMENT.COM - Jul, 13 ,2014

Saudi Arabia: Al Jouf Cement announce new branch
The board of Saudi Arabian cement producer Al Jouf Cement have given the go-ahead today for opening a new branch in Jeddah, as part of the company’s expansion strategy.
UAECEMENT.COM - Jul, 11 ,2014

Iran to inaugurate cement plant in Venezuela: official
Tehran – Iran will inaugurate a cement plant in Venezuela within the next few months, Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization Managing Director Mehdi Karbasian said.

The plant will have a capacity to produce one million tons of cement per year, the Mehr News Agency quoted Karbasian as saying on Saturday.

In 2012, IMIDRO signed an agreement to establish the cement plant in Venezuela and started the work, but the construction operations were halted due to budget deficit, he noted.

Iran exported around 18 million tons of cement to 24 countries, including Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Georgia, Oman, India, and China in the previous Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, 2014.

The country ranked first in the Middle East and third in the world in terms of cement exports.

UAECEMENT.COM - Jul, 7 ,2014

Pakistan: Cement dispatches reach record 3.21 million tons
Karachi: Total cement dispatches, including local sales and exports, in June 2014 have reached a record level of 3.21 million tons, up 11.5% compared to the 2.88 million tons during the same month in the previous year.

Domestic cement sales in the last month of the outgoing fiscal year 2014 (FY14) increased 14.32% to 2.53 million tons compared to the 2.21 million tons during the same month of the last fiscal year. Cement exports during June have also shown an increase of 2.9% as they touched 685,000 tons against 665,000 tons.

According to the data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) – the representative body of all cement makers – the cement industry dispatches in local market touched 26.14 million tons in FY14, up 4.32% compared to 25.06 million tons during the same period of the last fiscal year.

The overall country’s exports declined 2.87 % to 8.133 million tons compared to exports during the last fiscal year in which it remained 8.37 million tons. The combined figure of local sales and exports in FY14 reached 34.27 million tons, up 2.52% compared to 33.432 million tons in FY13.

The APCMA spokesperson said that despite adverse conditions regarding government’s regulation of the industry and the depressing export scenario, the cement sector performed well.

He said exports in 2009-10 were 10.65 million tons, while in 2013-14 they were only 8.13 million tons. “The exports have been on a constant decline since 2008-09 when they peaked at 10.98 million tons,” said the spokesperson. “The increase in cost of cement production has had a negative impact on cement exports.”

He further added that fuel is the major input in cement dispatches and the rates of gas, diesel, and coal have been increased substantially in Pakistan in the last five years. The higher economic activities in the outgoing fiscal year rescued the industry from disaster, he added.

He said it was encouraging to note that the cement dispatches posted 3 million tons plus dispatches during last four months peaking in June 2014 to a record 3.21 million tons.

“In view of the large displacement of citizens from terror prone areas there would be greater need for cement in remote areas when the rehabilitation process starts,” he said. “The placement of cement in Schedule 3 of the sales tax act would be an impediment in supply of cement to these areas at reasonable rates.”

He appealed to the government to act in time to ensure availability of this essential commodity to the displaced persons at cheaper rates by taking cement out of Schedule 3.

Coal import duty hurting the industry

The APCMA spokesman stressed that coal is the only fuel on which import duty has been imposed in the recent budget which is injustice to the cement industry as it is the main user of imported coal and consumes almost 95% of the 4.5 million tons annual imports.

Due to unavailability of gas, other industries have switched to coal and many others are also switching, so this custom duty is to nullify the positive initiative of the government to use coal as an alternate energy source.

“The cement industry has spent millions of dollars in converting its plants from the expensive furnace oil to coal in order to reduce the cost of production.

Our product will become uncompetitive in the global markets and, as a result, the precious $500 million foreign exchange being earned on cement exports will be at risk,” he concluded.

UAECEMENT.COM - Jul, 7 ,2014

Dangote to establish a new grinding & bagging cement plant in Ghana
In the quest to get closer to its customers and also create jobs, DANGOTE CEMENT GHANA LIMITED has acquired a forty-one and half acre of land at Takoradi, in the Western Region to establish a grinding and bagging plant.

Confirming the news to the Media at a Press Conference in Accra, Vice-Chairman of the Company Alhaji Tajudeen A. Sijuade disclosed that the entirely new cement grinding and bagging plant in Takoradi comes in the wake of an expansion project aimed at meeting the market demand of cement in Ghana.

After completion of the Takoradi project and that of Tema in the Greater Accra Region, he said, there would be enough cement on the market and that would also eliminate unnecessary price hikes, caused by scarcity of the commodity.

“…we have commenced expansion in Tema which will give us 1.5 million tones when we finish because we are adding three belts and two rotors to our packers, making them four and two big silos with 6000 ton capacity each. By the time we finish this, there will be no shortage of cement in Ghana because we will have more than enough”.

“…as an extension of that, we have acquired land at Takoradi where we grind clinker, mix and bag,” Alhaji Sijuade revealed.

He further stated that when expansion works are done at both plants, DANGOTE CEMENT GHANA LIMITED will produce 3 million tonnes of cement but was quick to assure customers of the fact that quality would not be compromised for quantity.

He was however disappointed about the fact that cement cannot be produced from limestone here in Ghana because most of the deposits in the southern part of the country, are more of dolomite and it is not good enough for the production of cement.

Alhaji Tajudeen A. Sijuade also hinted that the total work force of DANGOTE CEMENT GHANA LIMITED will jump to around 3000 after the completion of expansion works at the Tema and Takoradi plants.

UAECEMENT.COM - Jul, 7 ,2014

India: Steel and cement taxes to fund affordable housing
New Delhi: Urban development minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said the government will open an escrow account to fund affordable housing in the country. The account will collect taxes and other charges that are levied on materials such as cement and steel in the housing industry.

“The taxes levied by the state as well as the centre will be collected in this account and this will generate revenue to construct affordable houses in the country,” Naidu said, adding that he still has to talk to the finance ministry about the proposal. “We will request the government to set this money aside for the housing sector.”

Naidu, who is also the housing and urban poverty alleviation minister, said that the tax revenue generated through increased economic activity on account of the housing scheme will be channelled back into housing through this account. The money will then accrue to the states, he told a conclave on urban governance and housing for all.

Naidu said the options being considered to address the urban housing shortage include interest subvention and public-private partnerships.

India has a shortage of 18.78 million (1.87 crore) houses in urban areas, according to the housing and urban poverty alleviation ministry. A report by a panel headed by Amitabh Kundu, former economics professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, had pointed out that the percentage of people in need of a house from the economically weaker sections was 56.2%, the highest among all categories. This was followed by people from the lower income group (LIG) category. It is estimated that the housing shortage is likely to go up to 30 million houses in urban areas by 2022.

Parvesh Minocha, group managing director of consulting firm Feedback Infra, said to pick up two large commodities—cement and steel—and to also include the earnings by states sounds like a tall order. “However, a lot of such mega steps have been taken in the past. If it can be pulled off, it will be fantastic.”

As of now, the central excise duty on steel is 12% while the sales tax and value added tax on it varies from state to state.

Talking about the real estate regulatory Bill that was first mooted by the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, Naidu said he was in talks with states and other stakeholders on it. “Online automated single-window approval (of housing projects) is also a demand by real estate developers.”

Chintan Patel, director (real estate and hospitality practice), EY, said affordable housing is the need of the hour. “There are smaller margins in affordable housing, and a push will be needed from government to incentivize developers through low-cost funding. This is definitely a very positive step.”

Naidu listed the steps he intends to take in the ministry to improve urban governance. They included geographic information systems (GIS)-based urban planning, making towns and cities slum free, promoting cycling through dedicated cycling tracks, capacity building of municipalities, preparing masterplans for all cities, solid waste management and people s participation in managing public spaces.

UAECEMENT.COM - Jul, 4 ,2014

Dangote doubles production capacity for proposed Kenya cement plant
Africa s Richest man Aliko Dangote, has increased the estimated volume of production for his anticipated Kenya cement factory, which is going to shake up the cement market in East Africa and lead to a further stagnation or drop in Price.

“The yearly production capacity of the anticipated Dangote cement factory in Kenya has been doubled from 1.5MTA to three million tonnes per annum (MTA),” Dangote disclosed in its first quarter trading update.

The Kenya s plant was estimated to cost $400 million but the decision to increase the capacity could see the capital investment rise significantly.

The company is also building cement plants in Tanzania, Zambia, and Ethiopia which shows there is going to be huge competition once they commence production.

Dangote s three anticipated Cement plants(Tanzania, Zambia and Ethiopia), has a capacity of 8.5MTA in total placing it more than two times ahead of Uganda s biggest cement maker Tororo and Kenya s biggest cement maker Bamburi. These cement makers presently have a total of 3.15MTA capacity each.

The company stated that it is optimistic it will see a high demand of its products in neighbouring countries and Kenya.

“It is also in the process of upgrading its license by Kenyan government to a mining license after discovering a large source of limestone deposit,” the multinational added.

Dangote, who has been known to dominate Nigeria s commodities Market with low-pricing strategies, is anticipated to have the largest cement production capacity in the East African region.

“The group intends to have about 60 million tonnes of production, import and grinding capacity in sub-Saharan Africa by 2016,” the firm said in a statement.

UAECEMENT.COM - Jul, 2 ,2014

Switzerland: Green cement reduces carbon emissions
Researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne, Switzerland, have new funding to develop and test of a new blend of low-carbon cement. This new green cement has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of construction sites by 40 per cent. Cement production comprises some 10 per cent of human CO2 emissions.

The challenge has been to make greener cement and reduce C02 emissions but maintain the strength and durability of the cement in the process. The most common construction cement is Portland cement. It also happens to be the cheapest to make and is the most caustic, containing toxic ingredients like silica and chromium. It has environmental concerns on every level from the high energy consumption related for mining it to the release of a high volume of greenhouse gases.

Ecole Polytechnique s green cement discovery was made mostly by accident. Their new cement was created from materials that were already available and widely used – calcined clay and ground limestone. But when those ingredients are added in large amounts to concrete mixtures, the aluminates from the clay interacted with the calcium carbonates from the limestone and created a cement paste that was less porous and stronger than traditional cement.

The researchers believe the discovery, called LC3 (Limestone Calcined Clay Cement), boils down to more calcified clay and limestone in cement mixtures, rather than less. They say LC3 has the potential to become a benchmark material for low-carbon concrete because clay and limestone are abundant materials found all over the world.

UAECEMENT.COM - Jun, 25 ,2014

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