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Holcim open to giving Eurocement board seat to save Lafarge merger
Swiss cement maker Holcim is open to giving Russia s Eurocement a seat on the board after its merger with French peer Lafarge goes through, Chairman Wolfgang Reitzle told Bloomberg on Wednesday.

The comments were confirmed by a Holcim spokesman.

Russian businessman Filaret Galchev, who owns a 10.8 percent stake in Holcim via Eurocement Holding AG, on Sunday rejected the renegotiated merger terms that Holcim had reached with Lafarge in mid-March.

"You can assume that we are speaking with all shareholders and also with him," Reitzle told Bloomberg, referring to Galchev s Eurocement.

"It would be beneficial to have him in the board as he would bring in lots of expertise from the cement sector."

Reitzle also said that the future CEO of the combined company would be named in the next two weeks.

He excluded re-opening the negotiations with Lafarge on the share-exchange ratio or paying a special dividend to Holcim shareholders to win them over to the deal.

Holcim shareholders, some of whom remain sceptical of the cement industry mega-merger, must ratify the deal at a shareholder meeting on May 8.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr, 02,2015

Trinetra Cement shareholders approve merger with India Cements
Shareholders of Trinetra Cement Ltd have given their consent to the scheme of amalgamation and arrangement between the company and Trishul Concrete Products Ltd with India Cements.

According to a company filing with the regulator, the proposal was passed with requisite majority.

The total number of shares in the company is 44,75,600. A total of 27,40,262 votes were polled and all the votes ppolled were in favour of the Scheme of Arrangement.

It may be noted that in May, 2014, India Cements said that as part of restructuring, the company is planning to merge its subsidiary Trinetra Cement Ltd, and to sell lands near to its plants in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

N Srinivasan, vice chairman and managing director, India Cements, said that the company wants to consolidate cement operations and the merger of Trinetra Cement Ltd and Trishul Concrete Products with India Cements will bring operations under one company.

"We will get the benefit of profitability of Trinetra and improve the performance of India Cements," he said, adding that post the merger total capacity of India Cements will go 15.8 million tonnes.

From a two plant company having a capacity of just 1.3 million tonnes in 1989, in the last two decades India Cements total capacity increased to 15.5 million tonnes per annum. It has seven integrated cement plants in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, one in Rajasthan (through its subsidiary, Trinetra Cement Ltd) and two grinding units, one each in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, it was reported.
UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,30,2015

Lebanon:Zahle cement factory to be relocated: Bishop
BEIRUT: A controversial cement factory that was set to be built in Zahle will be relocated to another area, Bishop Issam Darwish announced Wednesday.

The planned cement factory, which has been met with widespread opposition for Zahle residents and officials over health and environmental concerns, will now be relocated after an agreement was reached with the head of the project, Pierre Fattouch, Archbishop of the Greek Catholic diocese of Zahle and Forzol Issam Darwish said in a news conference Wednesday.

The new location of the factory has yet to be disclosed.

The announcement comes three days after Zahle MP’s held a joint news conference, announcing that they would continue to oppose the construction of the factory despite the Shura Counil’s approval of the project.

The MPs argued that local officials and residents in Zahle are opposed the plan out of health and environmental concerns. They added that the environmental problems would not only affect the city of Zahle, but the entire district as well, and called on the Shura Council to reevaluate its decision.

The original decision to allow the construction of the cement factory by businessman Pierre Fattoush was made last October. Local citizens and influential politicians have since pressured the municipality to revoke its decision.

The project received national attention last December when more than a dozen gunmen loyal to Pierre Fattoush assaulted an Al-Jadeed reporter and cameraman as they were wrapping up a report about the plant.

UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,28,2015

Dangote results take a dive in 2014

Nigeria: Dangote Cement s pretax profit fell by 3.2% to US$928m in 2014 due to a gas shortage at its plants and low demand after prolonged wet weather. The company, Africa s biggest cement company, said that sales volumes in its main Nigerian market fell by 3.2% to 12.87Mt, weaker than the decline in the overall market of 0.8% to 21Mt. It expected market growth in Nigeria to be muted in 2015 owing to election and currency worries, worsened by the fall in government revenues that have triggered by the plunge in world oil prices.

Dangote s full-year revenues for 2014 climbed to US$1.97bn during the 12 months to 31 December 2014, up from US$1.97bn in 2013, due to growth from Dangote s other African operations. It said that unreliable gas supplies to its Obajana plant constrained production, while prolonged rainfall in the second half of last year led to a slowdown in construction. Dangote is increasingly turning its attention from Nigeria to elsewhere in Africa. In 2015 it expects to commission new cement plants in Cameroon, Zambia, Ethiopia and Tanzania.

GlobalCement - Mar,28,2015

Cement firm sales set to surge 15pc
ISTANBUL: The cement business of Turkey s Sabanci Holding expects its sales to rise 10-15 per cent this year and is looking for acquisition opportunities, its chief executive said.

Sabanci s cement group, consisting of cement companies Akcansa and Cimsa, posted a 16pc increase in sales to 2.5 billion lira ($980 million) in 2014, the cement unit s chief executive Hakan Gurdal said.

We are chasing opportunities for growth abroad. Financial structures of Akcansa and Cimsa are getting stronger, creating serious potential. We currently have the ability to borrow up to $1.5bn to fund an acquisition, Gurdal said.

Sabanci Holding was in a consortium that offered bids for some of the assets put up for sale by cement makers Lafarge and Holcim after their mega-merger. But Irish cement maker CRH agreed to buy the assets for 6.5bn euros.

Sabanci has long been interested in acquisitions, but has not bought any companies. Gurdal explained this was due to geopolitical risks in Turkey s neighbouring region.

Gurdal also said the group had an investment target of 300-330m lira, most of which would be invested in a factory in the Aegean province of Afyon. The factory is expected to start producing in May next year.

UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,25,2015

QNCC: Cement productivity to increase by 12%
Qatar National Cement Company (QNCC) is aiming to meet the growing appetite for cement in Qatar, as the infrastructure projects increasingly put a demand on this vital commodity.

QNCC claims to catering to over 70% of the local demand and anticipates that the total cement production capacity will be increased to over four million tonnes per annum, with the operation of two new mills by the end of this year. This will be a nearly 12% increase from the existing capacity.

The company s total production (in all categories of cement) increased to 3.5 million tonnes in 2014, up nearly three percent compared to 3.4 million tonnes produced during the previous year.

"Our two new mills are scheduled to begin operation this year. The first will commence production from October 15, 2015, while, the second one is expected to start by the year-end," said Salem Butti Al Naimi, chairman and managing director of QNCC, adding, "the whole plant will start running at full capacity by early next year producing about 23,000 tonnes per day."

Speaking on the sidelines of QNCC s Annual General Meeting (AGM) Al Naimi said: "We are expecting the demand for cement in Qatar will continue to grow in the coming years, and we at QNCC are ready to meet any surge in demand. If the market needs more than our full capacity, we are ready to import from outside."

He offered no estimated peak demand for cement in the run-up-to 2022, and said: "We are not the only supplier in the market. The quantum of demand and growth rate will largely depend on the number of new projects awarded and the progress of the ongoing projects."

He added that the demand for cement in Qatar is also influenced by many other factors, such as the weather conditions, Ramadan and summer working timings, when the demand for cement drops significantly.

Last year the company signed a letter of intent with a French company to further boost its production capacity, in view of the raising demand. The contract was signed for the construction of QNCC s Cement Plant Line 5.

The company had reported a net profit of QAR420.3m for the year ended December 31, 2014, which was down by nearly three percent compared to QAR433.3m in 2013. The Earnings per Share (EPS) amounted to QAR8.56 in 2014 compared to QAR8.82 in 2013.
UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,23,2015

Zimbabwe: Upgrade works at Sino Zimbabwe Cement
Sino Zimbabwe Cement Company is now operating at 60% capacity utilisation following a US$4m investment in a three-phase plant upgrade.

Phase one upgrades were undertaken on the cement mill and rotary kiln in order to boost cement output. The completion of the kiln upgrade has seen Sino Zimbabwe Cement improve its energy consumption and reduce its carbon footprint, while the new high-temperature bag filter system will significantly reduce dust emissions. The second phase of upgrades will target the warehousing and storage facilities and are expected to be completed in 2015. The third phase will be completed in 2016.

"The completion of the first phase boosted clinker production at the Gweru plant. Now we can produce 700,000t/yr," said Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe (IDCZ) public relations advisor Dereck Sibanda. "The amount invested went towards refurbishments of the cement mill, the rotary kiln as well as renewing and automating ancillary equipment."

Sibanda said that cement demand is at its peak and that Sino Zimbabwe Cement will continue its upgrades to improve viability. "The second phase is expected to be complete sometime this year and we are quite confident of our prospects considering the richness of our limestone deposits," said Sibanda.

Sino-Zim is a joint venture company between IDCZ and China Buildings Materials Corporation, which started operating in 2001. The US$4m investment by the Chinese shareholder was to boost output and reduce pollution. Sibanda said that the new technology would help Sino Zimbabwe Cement to reduce its emissions. In 2013, it was fined by the Environmental Management Agency for air pollution.

UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,19,2015

Kazakhstan: Semey cement plant expands production capacity
The Semey cement plant has been expanded to 1Mt/yr of cement production capacity. In the frame of the Nurly Zhol programme, the most of the cement will be utilised for road construction. The contracts for cement delivery have been already signed
UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,19,2015

Armenia: VTB bank selling Hrazdan cement plant
VTB Bank (Armenia), a 100% subsidiary of Russian VTB Bank, is negotiating the sale of its cement plant in Hrazdan, according to the bank s chief executive Yuri Gusev.

In 2014 the bank provided the plant with a loan that was instrumental in resuming its operation. The plant s products are sold in Iran, Iraq, Europe and the Russian Federation. According to Gusev, VTB Bank (Armenia) wants the plant to continue its operation because the town of Hrazdan is a single-enterprise town. "VTB Bank (Armenia) feels its social responsibility for the fate of its residents," said Gusev. He added that the bank would assist the new owner of the cement plant to attract an international investor.

UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,16,2015

Ukraine: Podilskiy Cement reports Euro123m loss for 2014
Podilskiy Cement, part of Ireland s CRH, has reported a loss of Euro123m for 2014, following a Euro5.05m loss in 2013. Podilskiy Cement enterprise has six kilns for the production of cement with the total capacity of 3.7Mt/yr.
UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,16,2015

Thailand: Loesche vertical roller mill ordered by Siam Cement Group
Siam Cement Group (SCG) has commissioned Loesche to deliver an LM 56.3+3 C vertical roller mill for the grinding of clinker for its existing cement plant in Ta Luang, Thailand.

The new mill will be designed for the production of 200t/hr of Portland cement type I at 3600 Blaine as well as 150t/hr Portland cement type III at 4500 Blaine. The scope of the delivery also includes premium parts such as the mill motor, the mill fan and an LSVS-classifier.

Commissioning of the LM 56.3+3 at SCG s Ta Luang cement plant is expected to take place in December 2015.
UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,14,2015

South Africa: PPC considers AfriSam merger proposal
The board of PPC are considering an indicative non-binding proposal from AfriSam Group for a merger between the two cement producing companies. PPC will make a further announcement once its board had concluded the consideration process, according to Pretoria News. The Public Investment Corporation, the managers of the Government Employees Pension Fund, holds a 12.6% share of PPC and a 66% share of AfriSam.
UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,14,2015

German cement consumption increases to 27.1Mt in 2014
Around 27.1Mt of cement was used in Germany in 2014. This represents a 2.2% increase in consumption as compared with 2013. The German Cement Works Association (VDZ) is also predicting further growth for 2015.

"Significant catch-up effects from 2013 and mild weather really bolstered cement consumption, particularly in the first quarter of 2014," said Gerhard Hirth, president of the VDZ. However, the generally reserved economic climate had a dampening effect on construction investment over the rest of the year. "We experienced considerable increases in demand all year, mainly in housing," said Hirth. "In addition, due to the advantages of concrete construction in multi-storey buildings, cement manufacturers have managed to further increase their market share over recent years."

Domestic cement demand for cement was almost completely covered by German manufacturers in 2014. Just 1.2Mt, or 4%, was imported in 2014. Cement and clinker exports fell slightly year-on-year to 6.2Mt.

According to Hirth, the German cement industry has started 2015 with a positive outlook. "Due to the dynamic overall economic development and the continuing high demand for new housing, we are expecting growth of around 1% in cement consumption to approx. 27.3Mt in 2015," said Hirth.
UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,11,2015

61 million tons of cement produced over past 11 months
The ministry website reported that the volume of clinker produced at domestic cement factories over the past 11 months amounted to 64,136,506 tons.

In the same period, 49,124,093 tons of cement were distributed domestically.

The report continued that production of cement in the month of Bahman (between January and February) stood at 4,792,225 tons and that of clinker at 2,851,118 tons.

Cement export in the said Iranian month amounted to 937,599 tons and clinker 650,234 tons.

It is expected that by the yearend, cement export would reach 18 million tons.

Iran is the fourth major producer of cement in the world and has the first position in the Middle East.
UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,11,2015

Egypt s ASEC to help run Ethiopian cement plant
ASEC Engineering, part of Egypt s Qalaa Holdings empire, has won a deal to provide technical assistance and for the operation and maintenance of a plant in Ethiopia.

The company has signed a one-year contract, which is renewable for a period of up to five years, to help manage a one million tonne capacity clinker plant for the National Cement Share Company (NCSC) in the city of Dire Dawa, around 450km east of the capital Addis Ababa.

ASEC Engineering s scope of work will cover extensive training for local staff through its ASEC Academy training programmes and courses. The firm said that its expertise should help NCSC to increase production volumes, improve product quality and reduce costs.

The win follows on from a number of other regional contract wins, ASEC said. The company also operates and maintains 10 lines across seven plants in its home market of Egypt, covering around 25% of the country s total capacity.

“This contract with National Cement Share Company is a result of the continued efforts of ASEC Engineering and its ambitious plans to expand its business into Sub-Saharan Africa after its successful contract with CimentoNacional Company in Mozambique,” said ASEC Engineering CEO Khaled El Sebaie.
UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,11,2015

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