Displaying items by tag: Brazil
Brazil: Brazil's antitrust watchdog Cade has decided to end its investigation into 18 companies from the cement sector over alleged anti-competition practices. The allegations were that some of the companies had reached an agreement to refuse to provide three types of cement to competitors outside of an economic group, which would lead to increased prices of the products, according to the Valor Economico newspaper. Cade determined punishments were to be applied to Holcim Brasil, Cimento Tupi and Votorantim Pimentos. However, case leader Paulo Burnier decided that there insufficient evidence to apply sanctions on the majority of companies concerned. He also noted that some of the companies had already been set punishments by Cade for involvement in cartel practices.
Brazil/US: FCT Combustion has released details on contracts it has been awarded from CSN Cement Brazil and Ash Grove Cement. CSN Cement Brazil in Arcos, Brazil has ordered a Turbo-Jet kiln burner with a maximum thermal power of 102Gcal/hour for high sulphur petcoke, heavy fuel oil, alternative solid fuel and alternative liquid fuels firing for its 6500t/day cement kiln. Ash Grove Cement in Seattle, Washington in the US has awarded a contract for 63Gcal/hour Gyro-Therm MKII kiln burner for natural gas firing.
FCT Combustion has also opened new offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and São Paulo, Brazil.
Austria/Brazil: RHI and Magnesita are to merge to create a new refractory company called RHI Magnesita. RHI’s management board has agreed to sign a share purchase agreement with Magnesita’s controlling shareholders regarding the acquisition of a controlling stake of at least 46%, but no more than 50% plus one share of the total share capital of Magnesita, pending RHI’s supervisory board approval. The purchase price for the 46% stake will be paid in cash amounting to Euro118m and 4.6 million new shares to be issued by RHI Magnesita. The new company will be established in the Netherlands and listed on the London Stock Exchange.
As pat of the agreement, GP Investments (GP) will become a relevant shareholder of RHI Magnesita. The combined company’s corporate governance will consist of on a one-tier board structure while GP will be represented on the board of directors.
The deal is dependent on approvals by the relevant competition authorities, the migration of RHI to the Netherlands, the listing of RHI Magnesita’s shares in the premium segment of the Official List on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange and RHI’s shareholders not having exceeded statutory withdrawal rights in an amount of more than Euro70m in connection with organisational changes preceding RHI’s migration from Austria. The migration and the preceding organisational changes in Austria require qualified approval by RHI’s shareholders’ meeting. If the deal is terminated for reasons not under the control of Magnesita’s controlling shareholders, an aggregate break fee of up to Euro20m is payable by RHI to Magnesita’s controlling shareholders.
The merger transaction is expected to complete in 2017. Until then, the two companies will remain completely separate and independent. Therefore customers, suppliers, employees and other stakeholders should expect no change in management teams, commercial relationships, supply chains and product offerings during this period.
RHI and Magnesita say that the new refractory company will bring together complementary businesses, both in terms of products and geographical footprint. Magnesita have a presence in South America and the US compared to RHI’s presence in Europe and Asia. The merger is also expected to aid the company’s position against the growing Chinese refractory industry. In addition, Magnesita’s position in dolomite-based products is complementary to RHI’s asset portfolio, which traditionally has a strong focus and an excellent market reputation for high-quality magnesite products.
Synergies from the merger are expected to deliver at least Euro36m in earnings before tax (EBIT) by 2020. However, if RHI Magnesita’s stake in Magnesita significantly exceed 46%, RHI expects substantially higher synergies of approximately Euro72m, especially in the areas of enhanced production efficiency and cost benefits in research and development, marketing and administrative functions. In addition, capital expenditure synergies are expected to amount to be Euro2 – 7m/yr and aggregate working capital savings of Euro40m are expected in the coming years.
Brazil: Votorantim Cimentos has received Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) for five of its products. The company is the first in Brazil to obtain such certifications under the International Organization for Standardisation, according to Jornal Dia Dia. EPDs are comprised of reports about products' environmental impacts from the extraction phase to the final consumer.
Votorantim Cimentos' clients are now closer to obtaining sustainable construction certificates such as AQUA and LEED. According to a World Green Building Trends report, the number of sustainable projects record a two to six-fold increase every three years. In Brazil, the expansion rate for such projects is expected to increase from 6% to 36% over the next three years.
Brazil: Magnesita’s sales revenue from its Industrial Minerals business segment, which includes sales to cement producers, has fallen by 8.2% to US$74.1m from US$80.6m. However, sales volumes rose slightly to 75,200t from 74,400t. Declining sales volumes in Brazil were offset by growing volumes elsewhere in Latin America and in the Middle East, Africa and northern Asia. In addition, negative currency exchange effects hit sales revenue. The company’s Industrial Minerals business segment serves the cement, nonferrous and glass industries
Magnesita’s total refractory sales volumes fell by 6.2% year-on-year to 0.46Mt in the first half of 2016 from 0.49Mt in the same period of 2015. Its net operating revenue fell by 9.4% to US$467m from US$537m. Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell by 2% to US$77.2m from US$78.8m. The refractories producer blamed the result on steel production declines in South America and Europe and on cement production declines in Brazil.
“This decrease in volumes is partially due to our strategic decision to focus only on markets with adequate and sustainable margins. However, the outlook for the second half seems constructive in some markets, especially in the US, our largest market,” said Magnesita’s CEO, Octavio Lopes. He added that the company’s geographic diversification has never been greater and that the company is gradually reducing its exposure to any ‘specific’ market.
Brazil: Greece’s Titan Cement has agreed to acquire an equity stake in Companhia Industrial de Cimento Apodi, a Brazilian cement producer that operates in Ceará in Northeast Brazil. Through a joint venture agreement, Cimento Apodi will be jointly owned and controlled on a 50/50 basis by the Dias Branco Group and a TITAN-Sarkis subsidiary, in which Titan is the majority shareholder. Titan’s investment in the purchase will be determined when the deal closes but it is expected to be about US$100m.
The assets of Cimento Apodi include an integrated cement plant in Quixeré that has operated since 2015 and a cement grinding plant in Pecém port, near to Fortaleza, that has operated since 2011. Cimento Apodi has cement production capacity of over 2Mt/yr.
Brazil: The Sempertrans division of the Semperit Group and the Agudio brand of Leitner have started operation of their ‘flyingbelt’ conveying system, a combination of ropeway and conveyor belt, at the LafargeHolcim cement plant in Barroso, Minas Gerais. The conveying belt is suspended on ropes connecting a limestone quarry to the plant. It can convey 1500t/hr of limestone at a height of up to 36m. The 7km belt is the longest of its kind in the world.
"With the Agudio ‘flyingbelt’ we have installed a very innovative bulk materials transportation system. The Sempertrans conveyor belt not only overcomes - at great height - terrain that can only be accessed with difficulty, it also transports material efficiently and in an environmentally-friendly way. More than 40 truck journeys are saved every hour," said Thomas Fahnemann, CEO of Semperit Group.
The order was produced in the Sempertrans plant in France and shipped to Brazil. The electricity consumption of the new conveyor equipment is only around one third of that of conventional ropeway systems and, instead of the previous maximum of 400t/hr, 1500t/hr of limestone can now be transported.
Brazil: The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed an agreement with the National Union of Cement Industry (SNIC) and the Brazilian Portland Cement Association (ABCP) to support the preparation of the Cement Technology Roadmap in Brazil. The project is being developed in partnership with the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI). It will be technically coordinated by Professor José Goldemberg, a former Minister of Education and former Secretary of Science and Technology.
In addition to co-financing the initiative, IFC will also use its experience to help produce two of the project's technical studies: energy efficiency and the use of alternative fuels. IFC’s present portfolio includes 30 investments and 10 advisory projects in the cement sector in 26 countries. IFC has already invested more than US$4bn in the sector globally and US$838m in Latin America.
The Brazilian edition of the Cement Technology Roadmap will map current and future technologies and their potential for energy efficiency improvement and greenhouse gas emissions reduction per tonne of cement produced up to 2050. Its main objective is to contribute to the development of the cement industry in Brazil towards a low CO2 economy, using technical solutions allied to a range of recommendations from the academic, government and financial sectors.
Four major themes are being analysed by the Cement Technology Roadmap - Brazil, which includes the direct participation of major academic and research institutions from various regions of Brazil. They are: Energy efficiency; the use of alternative fuels for co-processing; the use of additions to replace clinker; and the capture, storage and use of CO2.
Worldwide, two other studies on the cement industry have been previously carried out using the same methodology and with the same partners (IEA and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development) - the global Cement Technology Roadmap, in 2009, and the Low Carbon Technology Roadmap for the Indian Cement Industry, in 2013. The latter was also supported by IFC.
The Brazilian project was launched in September 2014 and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2017. The preparation of the Cement Technology Roadmap - Brazil is being supported by more than 90% of the country’s cement producers.
Brazil: Votorantim Cimentos has inaugurated a new cement plant at Primavera in Pará state. The US$258m plant has a production capacity of 1.2Mt/yr. It will serve the North and Northeast regions of Brazil.
“This plant in Primavera is part of Votorantim Cimentos’ major investment plan. Despite the challenging situation in Brazil, we are moving forward with our long-term vision and our confidence in the development of the country,” said Walter Dissinger, CEO of Votorantim Cimentos. Construction of the plant also included a social investment programme in the local area that invested US$3m towards a local library, schools and a health centre.
The new operation is part of the company’s expansion plan, which will increase its global capacity to approximately 59Mt/yr by the end of 2018, in line with the company’s plan of geographic diversification. This expansion plan adds to investments of US$3.6bn made between 2007 and 2015, which resulted in a 94% increase in global production capacity.
The investment plan to 2018 also includes expansions at Charlevoix in the US, Sivas in Turkey and a new cement plant at Yacuses in Bolivia. The company is also expanding in the San Luis region of Argentina.
Brazil: Jose Otavio Carneiro de Carvalho, president of the National Union of the Cement Industry (SNIC), estimates that the Brazilian domestic market will decrease by 12% in 2016, according to the Folha newspaper. SNIC data shows that cement sales fell by 11% year-on-year to 61Mt/yr for the June 2015 to May 2016 period from 69Mt in the previous year. Sales so far in 2016 have fallen by 14% to 23Mt for the January to May 2016 period from 27Mt from the previous year. SNIC have suggested that demand will only resume from 2017 and that companies may be holding back investment to ensure it.