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Michigan approves burning plastics at cement plant
APLENA, Mich. (AP) — Michigan officials have approved a request from a building material supplier to burn shingles and plastics.

The Alpena News reports (http://bit.ly/1xF3pmW ) the state Department of Environmental Quality has approved the permit for the Lafarge cement plant. It says fuel emissions shouldn’t have health effects on residents.

State environmental engineer Melissa Byrnes says tests at Lafarge showed burning the materials produces air toxins below the department’s threshold levels.

The permit approval follows an Oct. 1 public hearing on the request. It allows the plant to burn about 65,000 tons of plastics per year and 26,000 tons of asphalt shingles in kilns with pollution controls.

Huron Environmental Activist League Director Bill Freese says he is concerned about the change but the league won’t complain if the plant is properly inspected.

The newspaper couldn’t immediately reach Lafarge representatives.
UAECEMENT.COM - Nov,01,2014

Dangote Cement workers on demo
Workers of Dangote Cement Factory in Tema have hit the streets to register their displeasure at their poor conditions of service.

According to them, management of the company failed to implement their collective bargaining agreement.

Speaking on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem on Thursday, Frank Nelson, a worker, said they lack the basic equipment to make them work efficiently.

“We always talk to him (Vice President) but what he keeps telling us is that he will sign but we have waited for a very long time, since January till now but nothing has been done about it. We don’t even have gear to protect us when we are working. Our work demands a lot and so the treatment he is giving us is very bad.”

Dangote Cement is a publicly traded cement manufacturer headquartered in Lagos . Dangote Cement engages in the preparation, manufacture, control, research and distribution of cement and related products. It has operations in Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia.
UAECEMENT.COM - Nov,01,2014

Karachi: Lucky Cement’s earnings clock in at Rs2.67b
Lucky Cement – one of the country’s largest cement maker with 18% market share – has posted a net profit of Rs2.67 billion during the first quarter of fiscal year 2015 (FY15), up 5% compared to Rs2.55 billion in the same period last year.

Earnings per share (EPS) increased to Rs8.25 compared to Rs7.87 in the period under review. The increase in earnings were primarily due to an improvement in volumetric sales and higher cement prices, Global Research said on Thursday.

The earnings of the company were below expectations of Rs8.62 per share due to lower than expected realised gross margins, the report added.

On a sequential basis, earnings of the company declined by 16% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) because of lower primary margins and a decline in volumetric sales.

Lucky Cement’s revenues increased by 12% year-on-year (YoY) to Rs10.47 billion during the first quarter of FY15, owing to a 6% YoY increase in the total cement dispatches to 1.61 million tons and an 8% YoY increase in local cement prices to Rs525 per bag.

Despite higher cement prices, gross margins of the company declined by 3% YoY to 42% in the first quarter of FY15 because of a significant increase in both the gas tariff and Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC). Sequentially, margins declined by 1% QoQ because of lower volumetric sales and GIDC hike.

Other income of the company surged by 50% YoY to Rs332 million because a significantly higher cash balance of Rs9 billion improved the company’s treasury income during the period. During the first quarter of FY15, the market share of Lucky Cement also increased by 4.3% owing to a 3.3% increase in the local market share and a 12.6% increase in export share compared to the corresponding period last year.
UAECEMENT.COM - Nov,01,2014

Karachi: Cement being exported at Rs300 a bag
Manufact-urers have been exporting cement at an average price of Rs300 (excluding local taxes and duties) per 50 kg bag since July 2012 while charging local consumers up to Rs540 (including taxes and duties) for the same bag.

Cement exports stood at Rs5,894 per tonne or $58.6 per tonne in the first quarter of the current fiscal year which was Rs5,989 per tonne or $58.2 per tonne in the corresponding period of last fiscal year. Cement exports earned Rs14.362 billion or $143 million (2.436m tonnes) in July-September 2014-15 as compared to Rs15.17bn or $147.5m (2.534m tonnes) in same period last fiscal year.

According to figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the local industry exported cement at Rs5,986 per tonne or $58 per tonne in 2013-14 as compared to Rs6,142 per tonne or $63.5 per tonne in 2012-13. Cement exports fetched Rs52bn or $509m (8.73m tonnes) in 2013-14 as compared to Rs56bn or $577m (9.09m tonnes) in 2012-13.

In contrast, consumers are now paying Rs520-540 per 50 kg bag at retail level including taxes and duties. Two years ago, the retail price of cement was Rs400 per 50 kg bag.

As cement export is being carried out excluding taxes and duties, officials in cement industry gave different figures.

Some said that around Rs120 per 50 kg bag is deducted under various taxes and duties including freight charges for cement export, while others in the industry estimate Rs155 per 50 kg bag.

The manufacturers must be earning through exporters but have maintained export price for years when prices of everything have gone up.

A cement maker said that in view of stiff competition with Taiwan, China, Iran, South Korea etc, the exporters have kept a competition rate to stay in the export market.

He said in the last three to four years, power rate for cement makers have gone up to Rs15 per KW as compared to Rs eight but a steep drop was recorded in coal prices.

The price of coal had fallen to $80 per tonne from $150 per tonne in 2007 but rupee devaluation made imported good costlier. Coal and power hold 55-60 per cent share in total cost of cement.

Local cement exporters are already facing a probe in South Africa where it is alleged that Portland Cement imported from Pakistan is being dumped on the South African Customs Union (SACU) market.

A cement manufacturer and exporter said that official export figures provided by PBS is conveniently ignoring the cost which is incurred because of sea freight, discharge port charges, inland freight and VAT of importing country.

If it adds all these costs then prices will be more than the local prices, he explained.

He said that currently the local cement industry is defending the case before regulatory authority in South Africa and as against their claim of 48pc dumping margin, as per our calculation the effective differential is not more than 10pc which is standard difference between local and imported cement anywhere in the world.

The manufacturer pointed out that landed prices of the cement of importing countries and comparing the same with local prices of cement in Pakistan, the rates are still cheaper here than cement in South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Egypt, UAE and other gulf countries.

UAECEMENT.COM - Nov,01,2014

Thailand: Kan eyes 5% rise in 2015 cement demand
SIAM Cement (SCG) chief executive Kan Trakulhoon believes the Thai economy has bottomed out since August, and forecasts that cement demand - a leading indicator of economic growth - will expand by at least 5 per cent next year.

Kan, who runs the country s |leading chemicals/building materials/paper group, also expressed optimism about the world economy, and in particular the petrochemical industry, whose upswing cycle he expects will now extend from next year to 2018.

Despite reporting a 20-per-cent drop in net profit for the third quarter yesterday, which was caused mainly by non-recurring gains booked in the same period last year, the SCG boss told a press conference that the worst was probably over for the Thai economy, which was now recovering gradually. He said SCG expected cement demand to recover significantly from the second half of next year, thank chiefly to government projects.

"We expect cement demand, which is a leading indicator of the economy, to grow by a minimum of 5 per cent next year. This is our conservative estimate," he said.

SCG expects Thai cement demand to fall by 3 per cent this year, after soaring last year to the record level posted in 1996.

The fall in global oil prices, from about US$110 (Bt3,570) a barrel in the middle of the year to about $85 at present, has also been benefiting the petrochemical business, which contributes about half of the group s revenue and assets, said the CEO.

The spread between the prices of its polyethylene products and naphtha raw materials rose from $691 a tonne in the third quarter to more than $800 in some weeks this month.

Similarly, the polypropylene-naphtha spread has shot up from $716 a tonne to more than $800 during the same period.

Since oil prices are still falling, Kan said SCG might book some Bt500 million-Bt700 million of inventory losses in the current quarter, but stressed that he was "1,000 per cent certain" that the overall results for the group in the quarter would be better than in the previous three months.

SCG reported a third-quarter net profit of Bt7.84 billion, a decrease of Bt1.94 billion or 20 per cent from the same period last year, when it posted a non-recurring gain of Bt1.7 billion resulting from a fair investment value adjustment of sanitaryware and fittings assets, and the sale of assets to Japan s Toto.

The group s sales revenue increased 9 per cent in the July-to-September period, to total Bt124.27 billion, largely due to higher chemical prices.

For the first nine months of the year, SCG recorded a 12-per-cent increase in revenue, to Bt370.83 billion, and a 13-per-cent drop in net profit, to Bt28.51 billion.

Kan said the upcycle of the petrochemical industry worldwide was now expected to last from next year to 2018, or six months longer than the previous estimate of mid-2017.

SCG has not yet reaped the full benefit from the current spike in petrochemical spreads, which began from upstream products, since it currently has more stakes in downstream products than in upstream products, he explained.

Meanwhile, Kan said SCG s board had recently approved the company s planned investment of Bt2.8 billion for the construction of mortar factories in Khon Kaen and Lampang.

The company also expects to conclude a deal to buy a European technology company next month.

The group will put most of its Bt250-billion budget approved for the next five years into Asean investment outside Thailand, "because it is where the growth is", he said, pointing to the 16-per-cent growth of its Asean sales booked for the first nine months of the year.

In the next five years, SCG s non-Thailand assets will grow to 25 per cent of the group s total, from 17 per cent at present, and its non-Thailand Asean workforce from 30 per cent to 47 per cent of overall employees, the chief executive added.

UAECEMENT.COM - Oct,30,2014

Pakistani cement producers report increased profits
Maple Leaf Cement

Maple Leaf Cement has posted profit after tax of Rs.545 million for the June - September quarter, 1Q15. Sales grew 6.2% y/y to Rs.4.5 billion thanks to a 9% growth in dispatches compared to 1Q14. In terms of volumes, the company sold 0.6 million t of cement in the quarter. However, net earnings declined 2% due to increased taxes.

Kohat Cement

Kohat Cement recorded net profit of Rs.683 million for the quarter, up 11% y/y, with sales volumes up 5% y/y. Sales revenue was also up 11% at Rs.2.9 billion, thanks to higher cement prices as well as increased volumes.

An increase in electricity prices caused a decline in gross margins. The company is installing a 15 MW waste heat recovery plant, which is expected to bring operational costs down when it goes online at the end of this fiscal. The resultant energy produced should meet 30% of the company s requirements. The total project cost is put at Rs.2 billion.

Keeping up with technical developments

A recent report in the Express Tribune, suggested that Pakistan s cement industry lacks innovation in terms of cement quality, despite its worldwide popularity. Nabeel Asghar from Technology Upgradation and Skill Development Company (TUSDEC) told the newspaper that there is a dire need to introduce new cement qualities in Pakistan for better efficiency and cost reduction . The company operates a subsidiary, Cement Research and Development Institute, which primarily tests cement for quality certifications, but has started testing samples to introduce blended cements to the market. Asghar suggests that Pakistan is falling behind in this regard. The article also suggests that the industry lacks manpower to enhance quality.

UAECEMENT.COM - Oct,30,2014

Fauji Cement records 3% increase in first quarter profit
Pakistan s Fauji Cement has released its key financial data for the first quarter of the 2014 – 2015 financial year, ended 30 September 2014. The company announced a 3% y/y increase in net profit, which stood at Rs.602 million, compared to Rs.582 million recorded in the corresponding period in 2013 (earnings per share (EPS) increased to Rs.0.45).

During the reporting period, net sales totalled Rs.4.17 billion, an increase from Rs.3.87 billion recorded in the first quarter of the 2013 – 2014 financial year. The rise was attributed to a 4% y/y increase in cement prices to Rs.516 per 50 kg bag and a 3% y/y increase in cement dispatches to 0.59 million t. However, the cost of sales rose from Rs.2.6 billion in 1Q14 to Rs.2.84 billion in 1Q15. Other income fell from Rs.51.52 million to Rs.45.32 million in the period under review.

Furthermore, gross margins fell by 1% y/y to 32% during the first quarter due to inflationary pressures.
UAECEMENT.COM - Oct,30,2014

Egypt: Misr Beni Suef Cement to build coal mill
Misr Beni Suef Cement has reached an agreement to build a coal mill worth US$27.9m in 12 months.

"The project will be funded through self-financing and loans," said Misr Beni Suef. The company expects the project to be completed by the end of 2015. Egypt is currently struggling with blackouts and the government has cut natural gas supplies to plants, which has prompted cement companies to switch to coal.

Egypt s natural gas production has been declining for years. Production in January 2014 was down by 10% from January 2013, according to the most recent government figures. In September 2014, the Egyptian government began to allow coal imports despite environmental concerns from the high pollution coal emits.
UAECEMENT.COM - Oct,25,2014

Cement and clinker statistics: Canary Islands, Spain, Morocco
Canary Islands

Around 39 336 t of cement was sold in the Canary islands in September 2014. According to the Canary Islands Institute of Statistics (ISTAC), this brings the accumulated sales figure for this year to 343 141 t.

In Lanzarote, 3099 t was sold in September alone, representing a decline of 16.2% y/y and 11.3% m/m. However, sales reached 33 462 t in the January – September period, an increase of 13.1% on January – September 2013, when 29 573 t of cement was sold.

Morocco

According to figures released by Association Professionnelle des Cimentiers du Maroc, cement sales totalled 1.306 million t in September 2014, down 10.78% on the 1.464 t sold in September 2013. In the first nine months of this year, sales reached approximately 10.655 million t. This is 5.73% lower then the corresponding period in 2013, when 11.302 million t of cement was dispatched.

Cataluña

The volume of bulk solids handled by the Port of Barcelona grew by 7% y/y in January – September 2014, with cement and clinker volumes up 24% y/y. Overall, the port saw the traffic of goods increase by 7% y/y to 34.9 million t in the first nine months of this year.

Although the region’s cement association, Ciment Català, has not released consumption figures for September yet, consumption fell by 17% y/y in August 2014. However production rose slightly as exports of cement and clinker increased by a staggering 131.9% y/y to 229 946 t. In Spain as a whole, domestic consumption improved by 6.1% y/y in September 2014 but dropped by 1% y/y in the first nine months of 2014.

UAECEMENT.COM - Oct,25,2014

US cement market grows 2.8% in August
Cement shipments in the USA were up 2.8 per cent in August 2013 when compared with August 2013, according to preliminary data from the US Geological Survey (USGS). While southern Texas, Georgia and Florida all noted double-digit increases of 27, 24 and 11 per cent, respectively, dispatches in southern California and Arizona fell by one and eight per cent, respectively.
UAECEMENT.COM - Oct,24 ,2014

Egyptian NCCD to build own cement plant
Egypt: Egypt s National Company for Construction and Development (NCCD) plans to build its own cement plant as the price of locally-produced cement is high, according to NCCD s chairman Mahmoud Hegazy. The new plant will cover the cement requirements of NCCD s subsidiaries. The state-run firm is currently evaluating the best timing for the project.
Global Cement - Oct,20 ,2014

Indocement plant tour: Citeureup
Originally, Indocement produced mostly OPC, but in 2006 it introduced PCC cement – a composite cement that uses cementitious additives along with clinker and gypsum.

Following robust market growth, Indocement formulated its long-term strategy to increase capacity, triggering sustainable growth in line with the market and preserving high quality standards.

Accordingly, in the first phase of the cement capacity expansion programme, two new cement grinding facilities were successfully installed and commissioned in Cirebon to add 1.5 million tpa cement milling capacity. In view of the promising growth prospects of Indonesia, it was decided to proceed with phase two of the cement expansion in Citeureup, where excess clinker was still available, to increase the cement grinding capacity by 1.9 million tpa. This was achieved by installing a vertical roller mill from FLSmidth and optimising existing grinding facilities.

The project scope is based on the objective of increasing the overall cement production capacity along with operational improvements to the existing cement production lines to achieve the optimum operational efficiency and related benefits. The prime objectives of the project are as follows.

Enhance the overall cement production capacity by 1.9 million tpa (1.4 million tpa added with new VRM plus 0.5 million tpa from optimisation of plants 5, 7 and 8).

Operational improvements to the existing cement production lines. For example, installing covered storages for additive materials along with stackers and reclaimers, process and quality improvements and product transport system, etc.

Increasing cement packing capacity by 2.3 million tpa.

UAECEMENT.COM - Oct,20 ,2014

New production line at Italcement ’s Devnya Cement begins operations
With the activation of the new kiln, operations have begun on the new production line at the Devnya Cement plant, Italcementi Group’s Bulgarian arm, located near the port of Varna in eastern Bulgaria. Italcementi entered the Bulgarian market in 1998 with the acquisition of Devnya Cement, followed in 1999 by the acquisition of Vulkan Cement. In 2013, the Group reported revenue totalling €59 million in Bulgaria.

The completion of the Devnya project will allow the Group to consolidate its operations in Bulgaria, where it also operates the Vulkan grinding centre in Dimitrovgrad, and boost its export capacity due to the plants proximity to the port of Varna West, which allows the company access to all the countries on the Black Sea and on the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.

“This operation, which flanks the Rezzato revamp in Italy, completes the strategic investment programme to strengthen the Group in Europe,” said Carlo Pesenti, Italcementi Group Chief Executive Officer. “With one of the largest investments in Bulgaria in the last 25 years, we have improved the industrial efficiency of our production facility and ensured alignment with the best technologies to safeguard the environment. The new plant will enable us to respond to demand on the domestic market and from the neighboring areas in Eastern Europe.”

The revamp of the plant began in April 2012 and required an investment of more than €160 million. Once the current tests and commissioning stage have been completed on all the systems, the plant will be fully operational by early 2015. The new facility is fully equipped with best available technologies and uses a dry process line, which can produce around 4000 tpd of clinker, for an annual output of around 1.5 million t of cement. This makes the facility one of the largest plants of its type in Europe.

Special attention has been given to energy efficiency at the plant, which is also equipped to use alternative fuels such as RDF and biomass, and to environmental impact mitigation systems, which ensure a significant reduction in carbon emissions. The Group’s commitment to Sustainable Development policies, which also underpin this investment, has won Devnya Cement Ministry of the Environment recognition as ‘Green Business 2014’. The plant has also received awards in the ‘Investor of the Year’ and ‘Investor in Human Capital’ categories.
UAECEMENT.COM - Oct,19 ,2014

​VDMA delegates to visit Angola and Kenya
Under the umbrella of the VDMA Construction Equipment and Building Material Machinery Association, eight cement plant engineering companies will send representatives to Luanda and Nairobi in the week beginning 17th November to host symposia for local building material manufacturers. The symposia will offer attendees the opportunity to learn about technical solutions “made in Germany” and to discuss local features and individual requirements.

Believing in Africa

“With our symposia, we hope to create opportunities for our customers,” said delegation leader Bernhard Pagenkemper, Head of Sales at Haver & Boecker, explaining the aim of this commitment in sub-Saharan Africa. “It is worth believing in Africa: every country offers opportunities for our companies to sell something.” In addition to Haver & Boecker, the delegation includes representatives from Aumund, Claudius Peters, Hazemag & EPR, Gebr. Pfeiffer, Christian Pfeiffer, Toni Technik and ThyssenKrupp.

Angola and Kenya are developing well

Angola and Kenya are enjoying economic growth and increasing cement consumption, but the construction material industries of both countries have a long way to go to catch up. Until 2013, cement was the most-imported product in Angola by some margin. Cement imports were banned at the start of this year in order to kick-start domestic production. Experts estimate production in the country to be around 5.5 million t, while demand is 8.5 million tpa. The government plans to increase capacity to 12 million t by 2016, so that the surplus can be exported to other countries in the region. The political situation can be expected to remain stable at least until the next election in 2017, and infrastructure and construction projects are being financed with profits from the oil business.

The sector also sees significant potential in eastern African countries. In Kenya, for example, cement consumption rose by 6.8% in 2013 compared to the previous year, putting it at 4.2 million t. Here, too, various large-scale projects and increasing private need for building materials is pushing up demand.

German companies can provide training and services

This presents a good business opportunity for the German mechanical and plant engineering companies, but as Pagenkemper says, “We want to do more than just help the countries with deliveries; we want to train the people in how to use the machines and to establish proper service.” The Germans hope that this long-term commitment will distinguish them from the Chinese competition, which is ubiquitous in sub-Saharan Africa.

The symposium in Luanda will be held on November 18; that in Nairobi on November 20. The events are being organised in cooperation with the local German Chambers of Commerce abroad.

The Angola/Kenya initiative is the cement sector s seventh joint delegation trip under the VDMA flag, following in the footsteps of events in Chile, Peru, Brazil, Algeria, Libya, Russia, India and Iran.

UAECEMENT.COM - Oct,15 ,2014

First female cement plant director appointed in Spain
Lafarge Spain has appointed Maruxa Suárez as Director of the Villaluenga de la Sagra cement plant in Toledo. This is the first time that a woman has been named as director of a cement plant in Spain.

Suárez joined Lafarge in 2004, working in the company’s environmental department in Madrid before moving to the Villaluenga de la Sagra plant. Before being promoted to Director, she served as Head of Production at the plant. She succeeds Mariano García Hoyos, who has taken up the role of Industrial Director at Lafarge Malaysia.

Suárez holds a degree in chemical science from the University of Córdoba and a degree in biochemistry from the University of Seville, as well as a Masters specialising in biotechnology.
UAECEMENT.COM - Oct,15 ,2014


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