Displaying items by tag: Algeria
Algeria has been steadily building up cement industry interest over the past few months. In late 2013 Lafarge opened its fourth world research laboratory in Algiers. Then this week South African producer PPC confirmed its intention to enter the local market with a new plant and German construction firm ThyssenKrupp announced an order to build a cement plant for Groupe Industriel des Ciments d'Algérie.
According to United States Geological Survey (USGS) data, Algeria saw its cement production more than double from 9Mt/yr in 2002 to 20Mt/yr in 2011. At present Global Cement Directory 2014 figures places the country's cement production capacity from 21Mt/yr with 30Mt/yr a reasonable estimate for 2017. Throw in similarly rising gross domestic product per capita, US$7500 in 2013, with infrastructure investments of US$286bn planned and Algeria appears to be a promising investment for the cement market.
Lafarge, which holds minority stakes in two cement plants in the country, reported that market demand was high in 2012. Its cement sales rose by 9% year-on-year in 2013. The other major foreign player, ASEC Cement, reported in its 2012 financial report that Algeria consumed 21Mt of cement in 2012 but that it had to import 3Mt that year. ASEC was planning to build a 3.16Mt/yr plant at Djelfa to plug that market gap. Yet news reports in early 2013 reveal that the project was paused due to financial issues at ASEC with the suggestion of a possible downgrade to a 1.5Mt/yr production capacity instead.
The decision by PPC to build in Algeria is the first big project by one of Africa's international sub-Saharan cement producers north of the Sahara. It steps away from PPC's expansion strategy so far of building projects out from South Africa. Hodna in Algeria is a long way from Johannesburg! It will also cause tension between PPC and whoever is supplying imported cement to Algeria, most likely indebted southern European producers. Both PPC and its Nigerian competitor Dangote are used to fighting foreign imports to their core markets. Data from the Algerian customs office show that the value of cement imports to Algeria in 2013 rose by 26% year-on-year to US$395m. That's a market worth fighting for.
Algeria: ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions has received an order to build a 6000t/day cement plant for Société des Ciments de Ain El Kebira (SCAEK), a subsidiary of Groupe Industriel des Ciments d'Algérie (GICA). The cement plant will be built in Ain El Kebira with start-up planned for 2016.
The order includes the supply of components for raw material processing, clinker manufacture and cement loading, the installation of a laboratory automation system for quality assurance and monitoring and the turnkey handover of the plant to the customer.
The key components are a 2000t/hr crusher for limestone and marl, a 500t/hr crusher for aggregates and a 50,000t capacity circular blending bed. Raw materials will be ground in two Polysius QUADROPOL QMR2 roller mills, with a throughput 350t/hr and a 30,000t homogenising silo will be used to store raw meal.
The kiln line comprises a five-stage, two-string PREPOL AS preheater, a 5.2 x 78m rotary kiln and a Polysius POLYTRACK cooler with intermediate crusher. Cement grinding will be carried out in three ball mills with high-efficiency SEPOL separators (5 x 14.5m, 6000kW central drive). Four storage silos each with a capacity of 20,000t of cement, four packaging lines, and six automatic and two manual loaders round out the plant. The Polysius POLAB laboratory automation system will be installed for quality monitoring and control.
Algeria: PPC announced its advanced plans for entry into the Algerian cement market on 24 February 2014, through a partnership with Algerian private investors that would see it own a 49% stake in the Hodna Cement Company.
The transaction will be funded on a project finance basis, with 80% debt funding from local banks, according to PPC. The stake, which was bought for an undisclosed amount, will see PPC assume management control of Hodna, allowing for the consolidation of the financial results of the project into the PPC group accounts.
According to PPC, Hodna will construct a 2Mt/yr cement plant for US$350m in the Hodna area, which is roughly 300km east of Algiers. PPC is already building cement plants in Ethiopia, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
"This project sees us entering yet another African country and gives us confidence that by 2017, 40% of PPC revenues will be earned outside of South Africa," said CEO Ketso Gordhan.
"The Algerian cement market is very attractive, as consumption exceeds local production by approximately 3Mt/yr. Moreover, the Algerian government has committed itself to large-scale capital spending programmes, including the US$6bn New City Hassi Messaoud project, which will see the rollout of thousands of housing units," he said, adding that this would "certainly boost the demand of cement in this country."
The company said that once the feasibility study has been concluded, construction of the plant will take up to 30 months, with commissioning anticipated by the fourth quarter of 2016. As with its other expansion projects, PPC said it would engage China's Sinoma International Engineering as the contractor to supply and build the plant, supported by India's Holtec Consulting.
"With a population of close to 40 million people, of which 74% live in urban areas, combined with a relatively high GDP/capita of US$5582, Algeria still requires the construction of 225,000 housing units per year to meet demand. The national housing shortage in Algeria is estimated at 1.2m units," stated PPC.
Algeria: South African cement firm PPC has announced that it will buy a stake in an Algerian cement company as part of its drive to boost sales outside its home market.
PPC said that it will buy a 49% stake in Hodna Cement, which plans to construct a US$350m plant in the country. PPC did not disclose how much the deal will cost, but said that it will be funded on a project finance basis, with 80% of the debt to be sourced from local Algerian banks.
"This project sees us entering yet another African country and gives us confidence that by 2017, 40% of PPC revenues will be earned outside of South Africa," said PPC CEO, Ketso Gordhan. PPC is also constructing cement plants in Ethiopia, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Algeria: Lafarge inaugurated its fourth laboratory dedicated to research in construction materials in Algiers on 18 November 2013. The Euro1.75m laboratory is the first such facility that the multinational cement producer has opened in Africa.
Luc Callebat, CEO of Lafarge-Algeria, described the laboratory as a "platform technology to coordinate and accelerate innovation to serve the needs of the Algerian construction market," during the inauguration ceremony. The project is intended to meet increasing demand for housing in terms of quality, cost and energy efficiency. The laboratory joins Lafarge's existing network in France, China and India.
Covering an area of 2290m2, the research laboratory includes control laboratories and research in cement, concrete, aggregates and building systems. The laboratory also organises specialised training in the construction industry.
Algeria: ASEC Cement has completed an upgrade at its Zahana plant, in western Algeria.
"Zahana Cement Company, our key Algerian subsidiary, has just concluded the largest overhaul in the plant's long history," said ASEC Cement CEO Giorgio Bodo. The upgrade is expected to bring a 20% year-on-year increase in production of both clinker and cement. In addition the deployment of new bag filters has decreased the plant's dust emissions. Following the upgrade Zahana's clinker capacity is 0.90Mt/yr.
ASEC Cement has now begun work on a US$30m project to construct a new raw mill at Zahana that will be fully operational by 2014, raising Zahana's clinker capacity to 1.2Mt/yr. In addition the plant has started work on a new kiln line, for completion by 2015, which will increase clinker capacity to 2.7Mt/yr and cement capacity to 3.0Mt/yr.
Zahana, located 40km from Wahran, had a cement capacity of just 0.65Mt/yr in 2008 when ASEC Cement took over management of the company. ASEC Cement has a 35% equity stake at Zahana in partnership with the Government of Algeria.
Algeria: Lafarge has agreed to undertake a project inherited from an acquisition of an Egyptian firm in 2007 according to an Algerian minister of state.
Responding to a parliamentary question in mid-November 2011, the Algerian Industry and Investment Promotion Minister, Mohammed Benmeradi, said that Lafarge had agreed to undertake the project as a minority partner, owning 49%, in accordance with a foreign ownership law passed in 2009. Lafarge originally inherited the project as part of its acquisition of the global cement interests of Egypt's Orascom Construction Industries (OCI). OCI had secured licences for a new plant at Oum El Bouaghi, in the east of the country, shortly before the Lafarge takeover was announced.
Benmeradi said that the Oum El Bouaghi project would cost US$500m and would take 12-16 months to complete. He said that Algeria is currently self-sufficient in cement, producing 17Mt/yr, of which 5.5Mt/yr comes from privately owned plants. The government has a huge capital spending programme, which points to a steady increase in demand for cement. Most of the state-owned plants are in a poor state of repair.