Displaying items by tag: Cemex
This week saw the announcement that Cemex and Holcim are both upping their stakes in Nicaragua to increase production. The companies have stated that they expect cement demand to grow significantly in the near future.
Holcim has started work on a US$10m project to increase production by 30% to 400,000t/yr at its Nagarote grinding plant. A second expansion phase will see production raised another 30%. Cemex, for its part, is building a US$55m, 440,000t/yr grinding plant in Ciudad Sandino. Completion is expected by 2017.
These new developments will make significant additions to Nicaragua's cement industry. Currently, it consists of one Cemex-owned 600,000t/yr integrated plant and one Holcim-owned 300,000t/yr grinding plant.
Nicargua has the dubious honour of being Central America's least developed economy and one of the poorest among all of the Americas. In recent years, however, its economy has grown dramatically, with significant expansion in the construction and mining sectors, indicating that Holcim and Cemex are right to bet on Nicargua. Indeed, late in 2014 president of the High Council of Private Enterprise, José Adán Aguerri said that the country had a significant cement shortage and was currently importing from Mexico and Colombia to meet its needs.
Driving cement demand in Nicaragua is the residential housing sector boosted by the growing population, much-needed infrastructure projects and the country's most controversial project, the Nicaragua Grand Canal. The canal will be, according to local media, a 'commercial waterway that will reshape commercial shipping, reap a windfall for investors and haul one of the hemisphere's poorest nations out of poverty.' Heavily backed by Chinese investors, it is deeply unpopular with industry experts and locals alike. There have been lots of questions as to whether there is enough demand for the canal, while its construction will divert scant resources, particularly water, away from agriculture, the country's main industry. The project will, however, contribute significantly to cement demand until its completion, which is expected in 2019.
So is Nicaragua the place to be? Its near-future economic and construction sector outlooks certainly look strong, but the cement industry relies heavily on long-term infrastructure plans, which are sorely lacking. Additionally, none of Nicaragua's neighbouring countries have noteworthy cement deficits. This means that export market opportunities from Nicaragua are in short supply. Nicaragua's future depends overwhelmingly on its leaders' long term-planning abilities...
Nicaragua: Cement companies Holcim and Cemex are increasing their investments in Nicaragua in preparation to supply the volumes required by the country over the coming years.
Holcim Nicaragua has inaugurated a US$10m project that will increase production by 30% and exceed 400,000t/yr. The business now has a new dynamic separator at its plant in Nagarote that will increase production through a more efficient use of raw materials and energy resources. It has also announced a second expansion phase, involving a US$6m investment to increase production by another 30%. The company, which has a 47% stake in the national cement market has ensured that it has sufficient reserves to produce the same volume of cement for 50 years.
Similarly, Cemex Nicaragua is building a US$55m plant in Ciudad Sandino in order to increase its annual production from 440,000t/yr to 800,000t/yr from 2017.
Colombia: The corporate affairs vice president of Cemex in Colombia, Daniel Suarez, has said that the company is bringing forward the expansion of its Caracolito plant, which is responsible for 30% of Colombia's cement supply.
The project includes the expansion of the existing quarry with an additional 110,000m2 of land, a complete reconstruction of the kilns and the replacement of the air treatment filters. Cemex will also open a new plant in the northeast of Antioquia.
Cemex's Colombian sales have exceeded 1Mt/month in recent months, driven by projects like '4G motorways' and housing schemes. Cemex does not export any cement from Colombia. 65% of its revenues in the country come from individuals who buy cement to either build new rooms for their homes or build a home by themselves. 35% is sold to construction firms.
UK: Martin Langvad has been appointed as vice president of cement operations and technology (Northern Europe). Martin has worked for Cemex for 19 years and has more than 30 years experience in the cement industry. With the reorganisation of Cemex in Germany, he has taken over responsibility for cement production in the UK and will continue to be the head of the Northern Europe cement operations.
Philip Baynes-Clarke has taken over responsibility as plant director at Rugby cement plant. His previous role as plant director at the South Ferriby, Humberside plant has been taken by Jan Kristof Peters. Baynes-Clarke has been in the cement industry for 13 years and started at Rugby cement plant as a graduate process engineer.
Jan Kristof Peters has worked for Cemex Germany for five years, starting as a process engineer and more recently as a production manager at the Kollenbach plant. Prior to joining Cemex, Peters worked in the lime industry.
Colombia: Colombia's Superintendent of Industry and Commerce (SIC) is expected to issue a final ruling on its on-going competition investigation into the local cement industry. SIC intends to announce its findings by the middle of 2015 according to comments SIC head Pablo Felipe Robledo del Castillo made to local press. Meanwhile, Robledo also said he plans to present a bill on 16 March 2015 that would strengthen the sanctions for anticompetitive practices in Colombia.
"This rule will allow us to increase the sanctions above the nominal amount of US$25m, the current maximum, by adding percentages of a company's revenues or equity, in order to bolster the penalties," said Robledo.
SIC announced in late 2013 that it was investigating whether executives at Colombian cement companies had colluded to inflate cement prices in country since as early as 2010. The investigation targeted 14 current and former top directors at five firms, including Cementos Argos, Cemex and Holcim.
Venezuela: Cemex has reached an agreement with the trade union representing its workers, Sintracea, regarding a new collective agreement. It is understood that discussions over a new agreement had been stalled for several years. As part of the new agreement, workers will receive a pay rise of Euro426, effective from 1 April 2015. This will benefit 1043 workers employed by Cemex at its plant in Pertigalete, Guanta, Anzoategui.
Czech Republic/Slovakia: The sale of Holcim's operations in the Czech Republic and Slovakia has prompted a series of management changes to Cemex's operations in those countries.
Hermann Dietrich has been appointed as Cemex's vice president for strategic planning in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Henning Weber has become the vice president for operation and technology at the cement division, Mariusz Kostowski has been named as the trade and logistics director with the cement division and Justus Geiseler has been appointed as the BSO director. Lubos Merunka and Hana Fidrova, who have been named as the head of the stone aggregate division and the company lawyer respectively, both came to Cemex from Holcim after the asset handover.
Cemex's general director in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Peter Dajko, has stated that the company is not planning any additional personnel changes in the foreseeable future.
Mexico: Cemex plans to build new power plants in Mexico using natural gas, according to Cemex Energia chief executive Luis Farias. "We are looking to develop a 300MW gas project in the north of the country, near the border with the US," said Farias. Cemex is also looking at a portfolio of three to five 70MW plants, complementing existing installations at its cement plants where it already has access to gas.
Czech Republic: Holcim (Cesko) will change its name to Cemex Cement from 1 March 2015. At the same time, Holcim will transfer part of the plant producing ready-mixed concrete to Cemex Czech Republic and part of the stone aggregate production plant to Cemex Sand. The changes follow the acquisition of all of Holcim's assets in the Czech Republic by Cemex in January 2015.
Mexico: Cemex expects its Ventika wind power project in the northeastern state of Nuevo Leon to start operations between April and June 2016, according to Luis Farias Martinez, vice president of Energy and Sustainability. The construction of the project, which was initiated in the middle of 2014, is about half complete.
The Ventika project, comprised of two 126MW wind farms, is located some 128km from Nuevo Leon's capital city of Monterrey and approximately 56km from the US border. The project requires investments of a total US$650m, which will come from US investment company Fisterra Energy, majority owned by funds managed by Blackstone Group, Cemex and other private investors. The investments are structured as 75% debt and 25% capital investment, of which Cemex has provided 5%.
Martinez, who is also head of the newly-established Cemex Energia, added that the Ventika project, as well as all previous Cemex projects, are fully independent and are not included in Cemex Energia's plans to develop 1000MW renewable power projects in Mexico by 2020 in cooperation with Pattern Energy Group.