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Turkish producer Oyak Group looking to acquire in Africa and Europe
Turkey: The Oyak Group, which has various cement interests Turkey, is looking into acquisition opportunities in the cement sector. It is focusing on Europe (specifically the UK) and Africa, according to its cement group chairman Celalettin Caglar.

Caglar said that the group was also interested in acquisition opportunities that could arise from the merger of Holcim of Switzerland and France s Lafarge.

Lafarge has said two-thirds of divestments as a result of the deal with Holcim are expected to affect Western Europe, but there are also overlapping operations in India, China, Canada and Brazil.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr, 14,2014

Gebr Pfeiffer grinding mill partnering with Holcim
The Holcim (US) Hagerstown plant is the most recent USA cement plant to order a new raw material mill from Gebr Pfeiffer, Inc.

The order was placed through KHD Humboldt Wedag, as the engineering and equipment supplier for the Hagerstown plant modernisation. KHD has been contracted to modify the existing production line to increase the plant s potential production rate to approximately 2400tpd and to comply with the new NESAHP environmental regulations.

KHD s scope of supply begins with modifying the raw material feed system and continues through to the clinker handling system and storage hall. As part of the solution, a new raw material grinding mill, the MPS 3750 B, along with all related engineering services will be supplied by Gebr Pfeiffer, Inc.

The raw material grinding mill includes a rotary air lock with drive, MPS 3750 B mill, an SLS 3150 B high efficiency classifier, and includes Gebr. Pfeiffer s patented “Lift and Swing” technology which greatly improves maintenance efficiency.

Commissioning for this project is planned for mid-2016.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr, 14,2014

Cement demand picks up in India
Indian cement demand picks up
Cement demand in India increased by approximately 2% y/y in January – February 2014, compared to the same period a year earlier. Demand for cement has picked up in the northern and western regions due to a rise in construction activity and demand in the central region has remained strong as a result of an increase in new building projects. However, demand in the eastern region has remained relatively flat and companies in the south have struggled due to a shortage of sand in Tamil Nadu and political tensions in Andhra Pradesh.

A representative from Karvy Stock Broking, a stock/share trading, online trading and financial services provider in India, said that the industry EBITDA declined in 2013 (by approximately 12 – 44% over the four quarters); however, the cement sector s profit decline is expected to reverse from the end of 2014.

LafargeHolcim merger

The recently announced LafargeHolcim merger is predicted to improve both companies Indian operations. The partnership is expected to help reduce debt and cut costs, as well as tackle decreasing demand and rising energy tariffs in the country.

The merger between ACC and Ambuja Cements (subsidiaries of Holcim) and Lafarge would result in the creation of India s largest cement company. According to Barclays, the company would have a production capacity of around 69 million tpa and a market share of approximately 20%, overtaking Ultratech which has a production capacity of some 58 million tpa and a market share of around 17%. Chirag Shah, Barclays, stated that the new company could become the market leader in India s northern and eastern markets and a close second to Ultratech in the western region.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr, 10,2014

New Saudi cement firm to raise $73mn via float
A new cement supplier based in Riyadh is planning to raise over $73mn (SR275mn) through a flotation on Saudi Arabia s stockmarket, Tadawul.

Umm Al Qura Cement is to raise the cash by selling 27.5mn shares at SR10 each. The shares are likely to be floated on the market at the end of April, and a prospectus will be published in advance.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is attempting to build capacity in a bid to avoid shortages as it undertakes a series of infrastructure and housing mega-projects across the county.

Last year, Saudi Aarabia s King Abdullah ordered for the short-term import of 10mn tonnes of cement in a bid to stave off a potential shortage and ordered for $800mn (SR3bn) to be set aside for the construction of four new cement plants to boost capacity.

In February, it was announced that another new cement company, Baha Cement Co, will also be set up in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia s minister of commerce and industry Dr Tawfiq bin Fawzzah Al-Rabiah said that half of the shares will be sold to the general public, with the rest retained by the project s partners.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr, 10,2014

Asia Cement (China) expands capacity
According to reports, Asia Cement (China) Holdings Corp. has agreed the acquisition of a cement company in Sichuan in western China. Parent company Asia Cement, based in Taiwan, is reported to said that the acquisition will make Asia Cement (China) the largest cement supplier in Chengdu, adding 5 million tpa capacity from two production lines to the Sichuan unit s existing 6 million tpa of cement. With the addition, Asia Cement (China) s total capacity in China will rise to 35 million t.

The agreement is between Sichuan Yadong Cement Co., Asia Cement (China) s local unit, and Sichuan Lanfeng Cement Co. and incorporates the latter company s wholly owned subsidiary Sichuan Lanfeng Building Materials Co. The total investment amounts to a reported 2.05 billion yuan, or US$331 million. The deal is pending approval from shareholders of the two companies and Chinese authorities.

Last month, we reported that Asia Cement (China) was seeking merger and acquisition opportunities or strategic alliances in China to increase production capacity and improve its competitiveness. This followed the announcement of a 108% y/y increase in profit for the full year ending 31 December 2013. The increased profit was attributed to higher capacity and sales volumes, improved prices and lower coal costs. During the year, the group inaugurated line 5 at Jiangxi Ya Dong Cement Corporation Ltd and achieved full capacity utilisation at its existing 11 production lines, selling 25.73 million t of cement – a 13% y/y increase. Jiangxi Ya Dong Line 6 has since been inaugurated. Revenues for 2013 increased by 10% y/y to RMB7330.8 million, gross profit increased 44% to RMB1616.7 million and gross profit margin grew by 5 percentage points to 22%.

Asia Cement (China) is expecting growth in demand to remain stable at around 6 – 7% while supply is likely to grow at a slower pace due to the government s continued efforts to restructure the industry to a greater degree of environmental efficiency.

The project at Jiangxi Ya Dong to add kiln lines 5 and 6 has been successful and those kilns are running smoothly with a daily output of 7000 t. This brings the plant s total capacity to 14 million t, making it among the world s largest cement plants. The group aims to increase its total capacity to 40 million t in 2015 and 50 million t in 2016.

“2014 is the year in which the Group has all of its 13 production lines in full operation. The Group will continue to actively make timely adjustment to its sales strategy and market planning according to market changes, striving to increase sales volume in regional markets. It will identify appropriate merger and acquisition opportunities to seek suitable targets for acquisition and strategic cooperation through various methods including acquisition of equity interests in small to medium quality cement enterprises, in order to further expand and strengthen its existing operation scale and efficiency,” said Mr. Chang Tsai-Hsiung, Vice Chairman of the Group.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr, 08,2014

Lucky Cement begins production at Iraq works
Pakistan producer Lucky Cement has started production at its 0.87Mta joint venture grinding plant in Basra, Iraq.

Lucky Cement CEO, Muhammad Ali Tabba, told local press that production started in February. Mr Ali Tabba explained to Dawn News that the grinding plant is the first phase of development and "if we succeed in our projections, we may go for a full cement production line of 1.25Mt, which may cost around US$125m.” The US$40m project is a 50:50 investment with the Al-Shawy family of Iraq.

Lucky Cement is also constructing a 1.2Mta integrated plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The US$240m project is an equal joint venture project with the Rawji Group and will operate under the name of Nyumba Ya Akiba (NYA).
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr, 08,2014

Cement giants Holcim and Lafarge in merger talks
The world s largest cement makers, Lafarge and Holcim, said on Friday that they were in advanced discussions over a possible merger with a market value of more than $50bn.

“Lafarge and Holcim believe that, given the strong complementarity of their portfolio and the cultural proximity between the two companies, there is rationale in considering a potential merger that could deliver significant benefits to customers, employees and shareholders,” Lafarge and Holcim both said in a statement.

No agreement has yet been reached, both companies said.

According to Reuters, such a merger would be Europe s biggest tie-up this year, based on the cost to acquire the target and assuming that Lafarge, with the smaller market value, is the target company.

A merger would help France s Lafarge and Switzerland s Holcim slash costs, trim debt and better cope with the soaring energy prices and weaker demand that have hurt the sector since the 2008 economic crises, Reuters said.

Lafarge, whose cement helped build the Suez Canal in the 1860s, employs 64,000 people in 62 countries. Holcim, which was founded in 1912, has about 71,000 employees in 70 countries.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr, 08,2014

New Dangote plant in Zambia gains Ministry support
Work has reportedly paused on the development of the new Dangote Industries Zambia Limited cement plant after the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) banned the company from carrying out mining activities. This action was taken following a breach of regulations, in which the cement company reportedly diverted water from a stream for their works without permission.

Now, Miles Sampa, Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, has stepped in on behalf of Dangote to ask ZEMA to lift the ban, saying a more appropriate action would be to prevent access to the stream. Sampa asserts that Dangote’s investment should be protected, given that the company will create more than 1000 jobs for the local people once the plant is commissioned in July this year. A Dangote spokesperson told journalists that the plant is 92% complete and will be ready on time.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr, 03,2014

Qatar National Cement Company to build new cement line
Qatar: Qatar National Cement Company (QNCC) has signed a letter of intent with Fives FCB to build a fifth cement plant line with a clinker production capacity of 5000t/day. Fives FCB and TPF Basse Sambre will work together to finalise the contract documents by the end of April 2014.

The turkey contract has been valued at US$261m. Construction will start after handing over the site on a phased manner, starting with two cement mills which will be delivered after 17 months and 19 months. The overall project will be completed in 27 months.

Fives FCB was also the contractor for the construction of plant lines two, three and four. QNCC s production capacity is expected to rise to 17,000t/day of clinker and its grinding capacity will rise to 20,000t/day.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr, 03,2014

RAK Co for White Cement appoints general manager
Ras Al Khaimah Company for White Cement and Construction Materials has appointed Eng. Ali Hasan Jakka Al Mansoori as general manager.

The move was confirmed in a filing on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

The factory is located near the port of Mina Saqr which is 25km north of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.

It was first commissioned in 1986 with Blue Circle Industries acting as consultant and also providing technical management. Recent uprating by the addition of a third kiln line enables the production of 450,000 tonnes of cement a year.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr, 03,2014

Letter of intent to build $260mn cement plant
Qatar National Cement has signed a letter of intent with France s Fives FCB for the construction of a QR950mn ($260.8mn) cement plant.

As contractor, Fives FCB will work with the consultant TPF Basse Sambre to finalise the contract documents within one month.

The plant s production capacity will be 5000TPD (tons per day) of clinker, adding to the existing four lines, three of which were built by Fives FCB. The project is scheduled to be completed over 27 months.

By the completion of cement plant line five, the overall production capacity will jump to 17,000TPD of clinker and the grinding capacity will jump to 20,000TPD per day of cement.
UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,29,2014

Dalmia Cement s capacity to rise to 20Mt/yr after JP Associates deal

India: Dalmia Cement Bharat Ltd s (DCBL) cement production capacity will reach 20Mt/yr following its acquisition of Jaiprakash (JP) Associates 74% stake in a joint venture with the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) for US$190m.

The board of DCBL has approved the acquisition of a 74% stake in Bokaro Jaypee Cement Ltd (BOJCL), which is a 74:26 joint venture between JP Associates and SAIL.

"With this acquisition, DCBL s current installed capacity (including subsidiaries and associates) will reach 20Mt/yr," said a DCBL spokesperson.

BOJCL has a 2.1Mt/yr cement unit at Bokaro in Jharkhand. The joint venture has a 30 year clinker supply arrangement with JP Associates and a slag supply arrangement for the same period with SAIL.

"The transaction was completed in a record time with excellent chemistry and cooperation between the professional teams of JP Associates and DCBL," said Mahendra Singhi, Group CEO of Cement, DCBL. "The total enterprise value is US$190m. The proposed acquisition would be funded through a mix of debt and internal accruals."

DCBL also holds a 47.3% stake in OCL India and is expanding capacity there. The company is also setting up a 2.5Mt/yt cement plant at Belgaum in Karnataka with an investment of US$222m.

UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,26,2014

Saudi Cement to retire three kiln lines
Saudi Cement Co (SCC) is to permanently cease of operations of three kiln lines Hofuf plant due to their age, higher operating costs and lower environmental efficiency.

The company had restarted Lines 1, 2 and 3 at the Hofuf works at the end of last year due to rising demand and market pressures at the time.

However, the decision has now been made to close these kilns and remove them from the plant site. The three kilns have a combined clinker capacity of 1325tpd.
UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,23,2014

Nigerian cement quality: Standards Organisation convenes technical committee
There has been much discussion in recent weeks over the standard of cement produced in Nigeria and whether or not it is responsible for building collapse. This week, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) convened a technical committee to review cement standardisation, bringing in representatives from Lafarge Cement WAPCO, Dangote Cement, UniCem and Ibeto Cement to join the discussion. The committee is set to decide whether or not 32.5-grade cement should be sold in Nigeria. This Day Live provided coverage of the first day of the meeting.

Dr Joseph Odumobo, Director General of SON opened the meeting, saying that through the course of the meeting he hopes to hear “expert technical insights on the way forward in standardisation of cement”. He acknowledged that there is no sub-standard cement produced in Nigeria because the cement standards are adhered to. But, he said, not all people buying cement understand what they are buying.

He added: "When the whole controversy began, we embarked on a basic survey and administered questionnaire to different people who are stakeholders in the building and construction industry, asking basic questions and the response revealed that the people did not actually know what they were buying from the market. When they get to the market they just ask for a cement and at best they ask for a particular brand name of cement. This invariably leads to misapplication of the product and to check this unfortunate situation, we have put this committee together."

The technical committee was made up of representatives from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and Nnamdi Azkikwe University, among others. The aim of the committee is to ascertain the relationship between poor quality cement and building collapse. Dr Odumobo added that poor building practices are key to the problem of building collapse and that efforts to curb this problem would be beyond the scope of the committee alone.
UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,20,2014

Drop in sales for Saudi cement companies
Cement manufacturers in Saudi Arabia saw a 3% year on year (yoy) drop in sales in February.

According to data from online financial information company Argaam Business Info (ABI), monthly sales stood at 4.59mn t, compared to 4.74mn t in the same month a year earlier.

Ten out of 14 cement firms operating in Saudi Arabia reported a fall in sales in February 2014. Sales of Jouf Cement Company (JCC) and Najran Cement Company (NCC) decreased by 26% and 24%, respectively.

However, the report added that during the period under review sales of Arabian Cement Company (ACC) and Safwa Cement Company (SCC) grew by 41% and 6%, respectively. Total clinker production of the 14 manufacturers increased by 5% yoy to 4.07mn t during the month.
UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,15,2014

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