United Arab Emirates Cement
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Cement manufacturing cost to increase by US$0.11 – 0.16/bag
India: The manufacturing cost for cement is likely to go up by US$0.11 – 0.16/bag due to the proposed freight hike on various inputs and the cement itself. "The cost of production will go up in the range between US$0.11 – 0.16/bag," said a cement company spokesperson. He added that cement producers would most likely pass on the costs to their customers.

The Railway Budget proposals plan to increase freight rates of coal and slag, used in the manufacturing of cement, by US$0.74/t and by US$0.34/t respectively. A hike in cement freight rates of US$0.34/t has also been proposed, however, a reduced freight on limestone, by US$0.04/t, is also in the proposal.

"The freight rate hike is likely to increase our cost of production in the range between US$0.03 – 0.06/t. However, price is determined by demand and supply," said Mahendra Singhi, whole-time director of Dalmia Bharat Cement. Jaypee Cement s whole-time director Shiva Dixit said that although the freight rate hike would have an impact on input prices, they would wait for the main Budget to see the cost implication.

UAECEMENT.COM - Feb,28,2015

2015 International Safety Award winners announced
The 2015 International Safety Award winners have been announced, with 29 organisations awarded a distinction, 320 organisation given a merit and 165 organisations achieved a pass.

The awards, organised by the British Safety Council, recognise and celebrate the commitment of the winning organisations to keeping their workers and workplaces healthy and safe during the 2014 calendar year. Among the 514 winners were organisations from the UK, Africa, Asia, mainland Europe, the Middle East and the West Indies. The full list of winners can be seen at www.britsafe.org/isawinners.

Congratulating the winners, Neal Stone, acting Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, said: “The success criteria for the International Safety Awards is challenging and that rightly reflects the importance of achieving good standards of health and safety at work.

“The International Safety Awards shine a light on those businesses who are taking sensible and effective steps to protect employees from the risks of work-related injury and ill health, celebrating their efforts and encouraging other employers everywhere to give workers’ health and safety the priority it rightly deserves.”

He added: “Our vision is that no one should be injured or made ill at work, anywhere in the world, so it is heartening to see that winners of the 2015 International Safety Awards are truly international; from Aluminium Bahrain to Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited; Delhi International Airport to the Rugby Football Union’s Twickenham Stadium in the UK.

“Winners are drawn from a broad range of sectors dealing with different risks – from the construction, housebuilding and civil engineering sector, with winners such as Bovis Homes, Costain, ISG, J Murphy & Sons and Willmott Dixon; to the oil and gas sectors, with winners such as Bahrain National Gas Company, Kuwait National Petroleum Company and Offshore Design Engineering Ltd of Great Yarmouth.

“The transport and distribution sector is also well represented, with winners such as Kenya Airways (Nairobi), MTR Corporation of Hong Kong and National Express’s Birmingham Coach Station in the UK.

“Our warmest congratulations to all of the winners.”
WorldCement.com - Feb,28,2015

3bn tons mineral reserves located in east Iran
Behrouz Borna told a meeting that any economic movement in the country starts with exploration of mines which is one of the main attractions for getting rid of the single-product oil-dependent economy.

Studies conducted on 7% of the span of the country have resulted in the location of 57 billion tons of mineral reserves of which about 37 billion tons are definite and the remaining are probable reserves, he added.

Meanwhile, Vice-Chairman of Iran Mine House, Mohammad Reza Bahraman said Iran’s position in terms of mineral reserves is unique in the Middle East, adding that the value of the located reserves is estimated at above $770 billion.

Under the present condition, he said, the located mineral reserves in the country have been estimated at about 60 billion tons and three percent of the world mineral reserves are in Iran.

The official also said that under the status quo efforts should be made to direct investments towards new explorations in the mining sector, adding that mines can play a major role in substituting oil in the budget.

Bahraman further remarked that cutting of dependence on oil revenues, paying special attention to other strategic industries such as steel, copper and cement and forming an economy dependent on domestic capability is tantamount to resistance against any inside and outside damage which will be attained through the will of the sympathizers in the country.

Iran stands in the 10th place in terms of diversity of mineral reserves and in the 15th place in terms of explored reserves in the world.
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb,25,2015

Holcim 2014 cement sales fall 10.5% in Croatia, down 5.4% in Serbia
ZAGREB (Croatia)- The cement and clinker sales volume of Swiss building materials producer Holcim fell 10.5% in Croatia and was down 5.4% in Serbia in 2014, the company said on Monday.

Domestic cement prices rose by 0.5% in Croatia and by 0.3% in Serbia in 2014, Holcim said in a report posted on its website.
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb,25,2015

Lucky Cement records Rs 5.60bn profit in July-Dec 2014
KARACHI: Lucky Cement Limited reported a considerable rise in its net profit for July to December 2014-15 fiscal year. It has recorded a net profit for half year December 31, 2014 of Rs 5.60 billion, which was 8.54 percent higher than profit of corresponding period last year.

Earnings Per Share (EPS) for six months period increased to Rs 17.32 against an EPS of Rs 15.96 of corresponding period last year. The Company s gross profits increased by 9.03 percent during period as its net sales revenue improved by 9.37 percent to Rs 21.41 billion against Rs 19.57 billion of corresponding period of last year.

The local sales volume of Company during period registered a growth of 9.20 percent and rose to 2.02 million tonnes as compared to 1.85 million tonnes of same period last year, whereas export sales volume registered a growth of 2.24 percent to 1.23 million tonnes as compared to 1.21 million tonnes of same period last year. The Company maintained its market share at a level of 19 percent.

During period under review combined sales revenue increased by 9.37 percent that was mainly contributed by increase in volumes.

Lucky Cement on its investments and ongoing projects including fully integrated cement manufacturing plant in Democratic Republic of Congo, grinding unit in Iraq, 1X660 megawatts (MW) supercritical coal based
power project, Waste Heat Recovery plants at Captive Power Plants, Vertical Grinding Mills at Karachi plant and 50 MW wind farm made satisfactory progress.Lucky Cement granted several scholarships programmes during period with the aim of equipping the
talented youth of the
country with access to
quality education.
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb,25,2015

Egypt s Qalaa Holdings approves 1.7 bln Egyptian pound capital hike - sources
Qalaa Holdings, one of Egypt s largest investment companies, has approved a share swap with subsidiary companies that equates to a 1.7 billion Egyptian pound ($223 million) capital increase, two informed sources told Reuters on Saturday.

The move would be the firm s third capital hike since it listed on the Egyptian bourse in 2010 and comes as the company considers a series of money-raising divestments as it seeks a return to profit.

The increase would involve exchanging shares in the holding company for larger stakes in subsidiary companies, mostly in the energy and cement sectors, and would bring the company s capital to 9.7 billion pounds, the sources said, without giving any further detail.

"Qalaa s management decided that this will be the last increase," said another source.

No one at the firm could immediately be reached for comment.

On Wednesday the firm said it had hired investment bank EFG Hermes to advise it on the possible sale of its food businesses, a deal the conglomerate said would help it return to profit this year instead of 2016.

Qalaa, which is seeking to raise $300 million over the medium term through divestments, is considering selling confectioner Rashidi El-Mizan and dairy producer Dina Farms, Chairman Ahmed Heikal has said.

Qalaa has some $9.5 billion in assets under management, including dozens of firms mainly in Egypt, east and north Africa.
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb,22,2015

Oman Cement Co records 2014 net profit slump
Oman Cement Co s net profit for the year 2014 declined by 12.8% to OR13.15m ($34m) from OR15.08m ($39m) in the previous year.

The company said the decline was mainly due to lower volume of cement sales, lower clinker production and higher volumes of imported clinker.

Oman Cement imported higher volumes of clinker to bridge the temporary shortfall due to one of its kilns being closed for capacity enhancement.

The company said it would consider a joint venture (JV) for setting up a new cement plant after detailed studies.

It said the $39m project for installing an additional cement mill of 150TPH (tonnes per hour) capacity with supporting infrastructure of cement silos and bulk despatches is in progress and is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2015.

Oman Cement achieved sales of 2,078,937MT of cement during 2014 against 2,101,631MT in the previous year, a decrease of 1.1%.

In value terms, total sales dropped 2.05% last year to OR51.35m ($133.4m) from OR52.42m ($136m) in 2013.

“Market demand for cement in Oman remains good due to continued emphasis on infrastructure development. With the company s well-structured pricing policy, we hope that in spite of stiff competition with other cement manufacturers, particularly from neighbouring countries, the company will continue to do well to retain its market share,” a company statement read.

The cement producer said that government s decision to double the price of natural gas, effective January 1, is bound to have a major impact on its performance in the coming years.

“Similarly restrictions on carrying capacity for road transport of materials will also increase the cost of operations. However, we are committed to meet the challenge by directing our efforts towards better cost management.”
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb,22,2015

Iran s annual exports to Iraq via Shalamcheh Border terminal up 137%
Abadan, Khuzestan prov, IRNA – Iranian exports to Iraq via Shalamcheh Border terminal during the current Iranian year (started March 21, 2014) shows 137% growth in terms of weight compared to the preceding period, according to a local official.
[Iran s annual exports to Iraq via Shalamcheh Border terminal up 137%]

Director of Customs House of Khorramshahr, southwestern province of Khuzestan, told IRNA on Tuesday that Iran exported $427.994 million worth of commodities to Iraq during the mentioned period which registered a 46% growth year-on-year.

Aref Bavi said that cement, different kinds of soil, vegetables, date and livestocks forage consist main Iranian goods exported to Iraq.
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb,19,2015

Lafarge takes charge for Syria, Iraq assets
French cement group Lafarge on Wednesday took a 385 million euro ($439 million) charge for impairment of assets in Syria and Iraq, and said it saw cement market growth of between 2 and 5 percent in 2015 with growth coming mainly in emerging markets.

Lafarge said it still hoped to complete its planned merger deal with Swiss counterpart Holcim in the first half of this year as it delivered fourth quarter EBITDA earnings of 679 million euros, down 4 percent mainly due to negative exchange rate developments and in line with analysts expectations.

It predicted EBITDA in 2015 of between 3.0 and 3.2 billion euros and reaffirmed its existing cost-saving targets. ($1 = 0.8767 euros)
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb,19,2015

Iran: Cement, clinker exports exceed 15.5m tons
Tehran, Feb 15, IRNA - Iran exported 15.9m tons of cement and clinker during March 21, 2014-January 20, 2015, said the secretary of the Guild Association of Iran’s Cement Industry.

Abdolreza Sheikhan made the statement on Saturday, adding that the figure is expected to reach 18m tons by mid-March 2015.

He noted during mid-March-mid-December, 2014, cement and clinker exports amounted to 14.5m tons.

Sheikhan listed Iran’s export destinations as Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Central Asian countries and the Persian Gulf littoral states.

He said Iranian cement has no rival in the Iraqi market in terms of quality and price.

“The association plans to identify new markets and boost export of clinker and cement, including those in Africa.”

At present, Iran’s share of the Iraqi market amounts to 60 percent.

He added, “About 90 percent of Iran’s cement are exported to foreign markets through roads. A large number of the cement production factories are not linked to railroad network and hence transportation is currently far more economical than using railroads for exports.”

Sheikhan said the removal of the Western sanctions imposed on the country will be effective in increased use of marine routes for cement and clinker exports.

In 2012, Iran exported 13.648m tons of cement and clinker, out of which 63 percent went to Iraq.

In the same time-span, cement output amounted to 70.25m tons.

Iran ranks first in cement production and exports in the Middle East. Because of its high quality, Iranian cement has a good market in neighboring countries.

Availability of raw materials, skilled workforce, indigenization of modern technologies, high quality and low prices are among the advantages of Iranian cement industry.

Currently, Iran produces 27 types of cement. Those involved in this industry believe that to expand export markets, Iran should facilitate trade, establish preferential tariff systems and help activate export organizations.
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb,17,2015

Indonesian Cement Sales Drop in January Amid Heavy Rain
Jakarta. Cement sales in January fell 2.9 percent from the same period last year to 4.5 million metric tons as heavy rain disrupted construction and weak commodity prices undermine demand in the mining and agricultural industry.

“The sales decreased due to high intensity of the rain and a weakened price of mining and agricultural commodities,” Widodo Santoso, the chairman of Indonesia Cement Association (ASI) said, on Tuesday.

Sales dropped the most in Kalimantan and Sumatra, islands in which their economies rely on palm oil production and coal mining. Kalimantan s sales dropped 13 percent to 327,000 tons last month, while sales in Sumatra fell 9.6 percent to 924,000 tons.

Cement sales in Bali and Nusa Tenggara dropped by 4.6 percent to 245,000 tons and by 4.1 percent to 334,000 tons in Sulawesi. Sales in Java were flat at 2.55 million tons, said Widodo.

Widodo predicted that sales would remain stagnant in February unless construction picked up.

“If the government quickens the infrastructure development in mid-March, it is possible that cement sales could increase,” he added.

Domestic cement sales reached 59.9 million tons in 2014, up 3.3 percent from the previous year.
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb,15,2015

Tanzania: We Are Not Closed, Says Twiga Cement
TANZANIA s largest cement producer, Tanzania Portland Cement Company (TPCC) has refuted reports of closing down its operations due to environmental concerns as "false and overly exaggerated".

The TPCC Managing Director, Mr Alfonso Rodriguez, told the Daily News on Wednesday that, "We are not closed, the operations are going on as usual at TPCC," Last week, TPCC which trades as Twiga on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) was reportedly ordered to close down operations by the National Environment Management Council (NEMC).

Several media outlets reported that NEMC faulted one of the plant s chimney for discharging a huge amount of dust said to be bad for people surrounding it.

Mr Rodriguez declined to give more details but noted briefly that, "There are a lot of misinformation and exaggeration on the issue."

TPCC produces almost 50 per cent of the cement output in the country. Closure of the plant was likely to create speculations that could drive up cement prices.

The equity market reports show that TWIGA shares were trading at a sober mood and on Monday this week lost 0.51 per cent after closing at 3,900/- from 3,920/- on Friday.

Official data from the cement industry shows that TPCC produces 1.4 million tonnes of cement out of the country s annual output of 3 million tonnes.

The rest output is shared largely between Mbeya Cement Company and Tanga Cement Company. According to the half year 2014 financial report, TPCC recorded revenues of 115bn/-, which is an increase of 13 per cent compared to the corresponding period in the year 2013.

The increase in revenue was mainly a result of increased sales volumes and overall improved performance. Similarly, the operating profit for the period increased by 38 per cent to 37.08bn/- compared to the same period in the preceding period largely due to reduced production costs.

Net profit for the period increased by 41 per cent to 27.14bn/- compared to 19.25bn/- of the corresponding period 2013.
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb,15,2015

Iran builds cement factory in Venezuela
This week, officials from the Iranian government arrived in Venezuela to visit a cement factory in Anzoategui, a region that is several hours away from the capital Caracas. This factory was built with Iran s help. It s now known as Cerro Azul factory and has become the biggest of its kind in Latin America.

The Iranian authorities were welcomed by their Venezuelan counterparts and together verified the successful development of this impressive construction. The Iranian deputy Minister of Industry spoke to Press TV about the importance of this technological accomplishment which benefits both nations.

Cerro Azul has been built using state of the art technology and advanced engineering techniques and now it is able to produce one million tons of cement per year. In this context, Venezuelan officials thanked Iran for its valuable contribution.

In this context, authorities highlighted Iran s commitment to industrial development for peaceful purposes.Now with a higher production of cement, Venezuelans hope to meet their dometic needs for housing and other projects.

This brand new cement factory known as Cerro Azul is yet another significant example of the bilateral cooperation between Iran and Venezuela. The investment in industry and advanced technology set Venezuelans one step closer to their strategic goal of diversifying their economy by producing a wide variety of products and free their industry from its dependence on oil.
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb,15,2015

Cement sector showed healthy domestic growth
KARACHI: Cement sector has shown more resilience than other sectors of economy as it posted healthy growth in despatches of over six percent during the first seven months of current fiscal year that ended on 31st January.

Cement despatches from July 2014 to January 2015 increased by 6.18 percent to 20.022 million tons compared with despatches of 18.857 million tons during the corresponding period of last fiscal year.

"The most pleasant aspect of this growth is that it is led by domestic consumption which increased by 9.45 percent during this period" a spokesman of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) said here on Wednesday.

Further analyzing the despatches, factories located in north showed robust growth in domestic consumption as they despatched 12.948 million tons of cement in local markets from July 2014 to January 2015 against 11.703 million tons during same period of last fiscal year depicting growth of 10.63 percent.

The South based factories registered growth of 3.76 percent in domestic despatches from July 2014 to January 2015 as their local sales recorded in this period were 2.537 million tons against 2.444 million tons during same period last year.

In exports however, the North based mills registered decline of 11.49 percent as exports were restricted to 2.782 million tons in first seven months of this fiscal against 3.143 million tons during July 2013 to January 2014. South based factories were able to increase cement exports during first seven months of current fiscal year by 12.18 percent to 1.756 million tons from 1.565 Million Tons in corresponding period of last fiscal year.
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb,09,2015

Saudi cement stocks return higher profit margins
Saudi Arabia is the largest producer of cement in the GCC, basing a capacity of over 57 million tons by the end of 2014. The Kingdom with a 33.2 percent capacity expansion in five years also included among the top ten cement producers in the world.

Heavy infrastructural developments, including a series of economic cities lead to a high demand for cement in Saudi Arabia. Almost entire production (98.8 percent) of the sector is being consumed within the Kingdom.

Regulators proactive approaches to overcome the labor shortage, including the major challenge of transportation, but cheaper raw materials create a competitive advantage over the global cement players.

In fact, the sector is on a growth path, extending its capacity by adding new production lines to meet the rising demands in construction.

The strong project pipeline suggests that a huge potential for cement stocks is likely to remain in force over the next few years. Fundamentals of the sector indicate an optimistic outlook in the long term.

Saudi cement stocks, however, are consolidating their financial position in a remarkable performance. Production increases despite labor shortageThe cement production increased by 2.7 percent YoY and recorded 57.2 MT in full year 2014 (55.6 MT in 2013) while clinker production increased by 6.17 percent during the same period and recorded 57.59 MT.

Saudi Cement Company with its cement production of 8 MT and clinker production of 8.5 MT remained at top. The company showed a decrease of 8.5 percent in yearly cement production and 3.4 percent in clinker production as its Kilns 4 and 5 in Al-Hofuf plant were under rehabilitation.

Southern Province Cement followed it, producing a capacity of 7.77 MT in cement, an increase of 5.6 percent compared to 7.36 MT of 2013, and produced 7.38 MT clinker during 2014. The company also planned to add a couple of more lines, which will commence commercial production in fourth quarter of this year.Both companies contribute 27.6 percent to the sector s total production.

The sector has been facing a labor shortage in 2014 as the government took serious steps for the deportation of 2 million illegal expatriate laborers. However, the Kingdom opened doors further to foreign workers, offsetting the shortage impact.

Sales up 3.4 percent on production growthThe Kingdom s 14 listed cement companies generated total sales revenue of SR 13.4 billion in 2014, reflecting a year-on-year growth of 3.4 percent. Umm Al-Qura Cement Company is the recent addition on the stock market and its operations are still under starting-up stage.

However, Saudi Cement and Southern Province Cement Company represented nearly 29 percent of the consolidated sales.

Southern Cement s sales reported SR1.9 billion, an increase of 5.8 percent compared with the sales of year 2013. And Saudi Cement s sales reported SR2.02 billion but with a decrease of 7.44 percent incurred due to less production.

In terms of percentage, Hail Cement s top line grew by 124 percent to SR356 million from the SR159 million recorded in 2013. Bottom line moves to a new high The sector generates a total profit of SR6.2 billion in 2014, reflecting a year-on-year growth of 6.6 percent.

Again Saudi Cement and Southern Province Cement remained major contributors, representing a total net profit of SR2.1 billion. More than one-third of the sector s profitability is generated by both companies jointly.

Southern cements yearly net income grew by 3.9 percent. While, the cumulative effect of decreased production and sales revenue caused a decline of 4.3 percent in SACCO s net profitability. But the performance of SACCO s recent quarter is good as compared with same quarter last year.

The reason is share increase in associated companies profits. Cheaper raw materials aid higher profit margins.

The cement industry generates higher profit margins on the back of cheaper raw materials. The sector s gross margin reached to 61.5 percent by the end of 2014 (60.8 percent in 2013). Najran Cement represented the highest gross margin of 80.7 percent whereas a minimum of 38.5 percent was reported by Jouf Cement.

Net profit margin of the sector rose to 46.26 percent in 2014 compared to 44.89 percent of last year, a sustained and improved level YoY. The Qassim Cement has achieved the highest net profit margin of 57.17 percent in 2014.

Furthermore, return on shareholders equity is continuing at 20 percent approximately. And return on assets is more than 15 percent for the sector. Southern Province attained the highest level of ROE (35.3 percent) and ROA (26.9 percent) in 2014, reflecting effective management of its assets and equity. Assets grow on positive cumulative performanceTotal assets of the sector grew exceptionally to SR 40.4 billion by ending year 2014, recording a growth of 6.2 percent over the preceding year s figure of SR38 billion.

Saudi Cement Company represented the largest value of assets SR4.49 billion (SR4.37 billion in 2013), a relative sector share of 11.1 percent.

While Tabuk Cement Company topped on percentage basis, achieving 31 percent higher value of total assets in 2014 to SR1.82 billion compared to SR 1.39 billion recorded in 2013.

At Saudi stock market (Tadawul), the cement sector has been showing a tremendous performance over the last few years, returning more than 20 percent on average basis. The sector index gained more than 24 percent till mid-September 2014, supporting Tadawul s rally to hit the highest level in six-and-half years.

But, since mid-September 2014, the Saudi stocks have been facing a challenging time in response to OPEC s various strategic decisions. The sliding oil prices put significant downward pressure on these. The benchmark TASI s entire gains of 2014 vanished even turned to negative after this oil turmoil.

Cement sector index also lost 2.42 percent for 2014, closing at 6,852.7 points. The sector index weighed down by Jouf Cement and Yamamah Cement, which dipped by 20.17 percent and 16.28 percent respectively.

Furthermore, Umm Al-Qura Cement Company floated its shares on Saudi stock market during mid of 2014, offering 27.5 million shares through initial public offering (IPO) at a par value of SR10.

By the end of 2014, Al-Qura share price rose by 266 percent to SR36.57. Arabian Cement was another key gainer, marching higher more than fifty percent to SR77.57.

With the addition of Al-Qura, the capitalization of the cement sector reached to SR90.8 billion in 2014, contributing five percent to the total market capitalization.
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb,09,2015

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