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Cement consumption in Jordan drops 9 per cent
Cement purchases in Jordan s local market declined during the first seven months of the year by nine per cent compared with the same period last year, Mansour al-Banna, chairman of Jordan s Cement Dealers confirms.

Al-Banna states to Jordan-based Alghad newspaper that cement purchases reached about 1.75 million tonnes until the end of July 2015, compared to 1.60m tonnes during the same period of last year, with a drop of 150,000 tonnes.

He adds that the decline in the Jordanian purchases during the first seven months of the year was driven by investors and contractors weak liquidity due to tough economic circumstances, as well as an increase in land prices.

Al-Banna points out that cement prices are still maintaining at the levels reached during the beginning of the year – between JOD105 and JOD110 per tonne.

He adds that the production rate of each factory reaches 2,000 tonnes every 12 hours and, since there are six factories in the kingdom, their production ranges between 10,000 and 12,000 tonnes, which is enough to meet the market s needs.

Cement consumption in 2014 reached almost 3.70m tonnes, with a 200,000-tonne decline from 2013.

UAECEMENT.COM - Sep ,01 ,2015

Gulf Investors, Libyan Firm Buy Largest Eastern Libyan Cement Maker
The Libyan Cement Company has three plants in eastern Libya but only one is operational, producing 300,000 tonnes annually.

A group of Libyan and Gulf investors have bought the largest cement maker in eastern Libya, betting on a construction boom once fighting abates in the North African country, one of the investors said.

Libya rarely attracts investment since much of the country is a battlefield involving two rival governments and parliaments and a slew of former rebel factions who helped oust Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but now fight each other.

The Libya Holdings Group Ltd (LHG) has acquired from Austria’s QuadraCir Group for “tens of millions” of euros a majority stake in the Libyan Cement Company, according to Ahmed Ben Halim, chief executive of LHG.

Investors from Saudi Arabia, one of them a stock market-listed industrial group, and the United Arab Emirates were joining as co-investors, Halim said, declining to identify the partners or details of the deal.

He said the cement maker had three plants in eastern Libya but only one was operational, producing just 300,000 tonnes annually — a fraction of the capacity of three million tonnes.

The new owners planned to invest more than 50 million euros in the three plants to boost total capacity by 25 per cent but money would flow only once Libya saw some stability.

“We are betting on a shortage of cement in Libya needed for a reconstruction of the country,” said Halim, son of a former prime minister. “People might call us crazy but we have a positive long-term view of Libya.”

Libya mostly imports its cement needs.

Two of the plants are based in Benghazi, the main eastern city and now largely a war zone with pro-government forces and Islamist groups vying for control. A third plant located near Derna, an Islamist radical hotspot, is operating, Halim said.

The Tripoli-based LHG, in which Saudi investors have major stakes, also has investments in energy, infrastructure and the financial sector in Libya
UAECEMENT.COM - Sep ,01 ,2015

Cherat Cement revenue up but profit down
Pakistan: Cherat Cement Company posted a profit of US$12.4m in the year ending 30 June 2015, a slight decrease from US$12.7m a year earlier. Turnover rose to US$63.2m compared to US$62.1m a year ago.
UAECEMENT.COM - Aug ,30 ,2015

Cement plant opens in Rwanda
A new CIMERWA plant (the only cement producer in Rwanda) was last week unveiled with expectations to increase cement production from the current production capacity of 100,000 tonnes per year to 600,000 tonnes/yr.

This will boost cement production and export revenues of the country to over $85million per year hence reduce the big trade deficit gap the country currently has.

“The new plant will allow Rwanda have enough cement, exporting some to its neighbors like DRC and Burundi and also will help create employment opportunities for Rwandans,” Rwanda s Premier, Anastase Murekezi said.

“This will help drive sustainable economic development and poverty reduction in the country,”Murekezi said.

Murekezi was speaking after unveiling this new plant that is located in Bugarama, Rusizi district, to the Western Province of Rwanda.

PM Murekezi said, “To facilitate investment and industry development, the government of Rwanda exempts all raw materials and capital goods from the payments of import duties”.

“Our government has put in place laws that facilitate and promote investment. There is now an investment code No06/2015 of March, 28th 2015 that has a package of incentives and other facilities given to all registered investors in Rwanda,” the Premier said.

“Rwanda offers an attractive environment to operate and run a business. The country has been ranked the most competitive place in doing business in East Africa, 3rd on the African continent by the global competitiveness index report 2014-2015,” he said.

Rwanda has been importing over 500,000 tons of cement but with the opening of the new plant the country will be able to produce 600,000 tons/yr, allowing Rwanda to export 30% of the total production (about 200,000 tons) per year.

CIMERWA ltd was hailed for creating job opportunities to over 600 people, 400 of these being Rwandans, and the 200 Chinese during the two years of its expansion.

Rwanda s current unemployment rates stand at 3.4% and the government is looking at creating over 200,000 off-farm jobs every year. This is why government has developed several strategies to support this cause. With the coming in of this new plant, the government believes it will meet this target aimed at improving people s livelihoods.

“CIMERWA has been in operation for over 30 years and has a long and distinguished presence in Rwanda and the region. Our previous logo was a closed diamond, our new logo is open-symbolizing the bright future we anticipate sharing together with all our stakeholders,” CEO CIMERWA Bisisiwe Legodi said.

“The future is already becoming a reality. We have worked together with government, our stakeholders, community and suppliers to produce this world-class facility that we can all be truly proud of,” she said.

CIMERWA firmly believes in attracting, nurturing and developing local talents which is evident in its development and skills transfer programme which offers graduates an added advantage to improve opportunities for employment.

“We currently have 22 new high calibre graduates and 28 local Rusizi graduates undergoing trainibg with possibility of absorbing some of them into our system at the end of the program, Legodi said.

The company looks forward to supplying both local and regional customers with competitively-priced, high- quality products that will increase infrastructural capacity across Rwanda and the region.

Legodi applauded the government for the newly published investment code which she says will definitely attract more investment into the country.

“Having successfully passed all requisite testing and meeting global best practices in the industry, this new facility has been designed to achieve the most technologically efficient operation. Producing high-grade cement that will meet Rwanda s growing demand,” Chairman PPC the main partner to CIMERWA ltd, Bheki Lindinkosi Sibiya said.

“The completion of this plant represents a remarkable achievement and is the result of solid, sustainable partnerships and solution. We have played and continue to play a major role in developing infrastructure and enabling the built environment across the continent,” he said.

“As one of CIMERWA s key partners, PPC is proud to be aligned to this company as a majority stakeholder in 2013- an indication of our belief not only in CIMERWA but also in Rwanda itself.

We are proud to have contributed towards making this new facility a reality both through our partnership and more especially through the technical expertise we have added to this collaborative project,” Sibiya said.

The Governor Western province, Caritas Mukandasira urged residents of Rusizi district to use the opportunity they have of having CIMERWA in this area for their own benefits.

“This will help fight poverty and hence boost development of the district and therefore contribute to the economic development of the country,” she said.

To create a wider market CIMERWA launched a promotion which will run till September 30th. Here its customers are able to buy 700 bags of its blue packed cement (32.5) at 7300 from the factory in Bugarama.

According to Legodi, new cement prices will be established immediately after this promotion.

Rwanda looks at boosting its exports by 28% every year by 2018 which is aimed at narrowing the trade deficit gap the country has. The unveiling of the new plant will therefore support the country in meeting such an ambitious target.

UAECEMENT.COM - Aug ,30 ,2015

Indonesia: European cement manufacturers face aggressive pricing
European cement manufacturers in Indonesia are to face more aggressive pricing and lower profit margins due to the Indonesian cement market s oversupply, according to Moody s Investors Service. In January, the Indonesian government imposed a price cut on cement sold by state-owned companies, which resulted in a 6% fall in the average selling price.

Falk Frey, a Senior Vice President at Moody s, said: “The unparalleled supply-demand imbalance in the Indonesian cement market will weigh on European cement companies pricing power and EBITDA margins, based on their level of exposure via regional subsidiaries, leading to a more aggressive pricing environment.”

However, the current capacity ramp-up should stabilise, and expected consumption growth should restore supply-demand balance in 2017-2018.

UAECEMENT.COM - Aug ,30 ,2015

Dangote signs up Sinoma for building spree
Nigeria: Dangote Cement will sign contracts with China s Sinoma International Engineering on 26 August 2015 to build new cement plants across Africa, as well as in Nepal. Aliko Dangote confirmed that the new plants, some of which have been announced previously, will be built in Mali, Kenya, Zambia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Niger and Nepal.
UAECEMENT.COM - Aug ,27 ,2015

Kenya: Standard Gauge Railway construction ahead of schedule
The construction of the Standard Gauge Railway from Mombasa to Nairobi is ahead of schedule, the Chinese Government has said. Chinese envoy to Kenya Dr Liu Xianfa said on Monday that 50 per cent of the construction work of bridges, culverts and sub-grade has been completed. He added that the design of the electric power to be used in the railway, among other crucial work, is also complete. Groundbreaking for the project was done in November 2013 by President Uhuru Kenyatta. "Ever since the start of the construction, the SGR project has achieved significant and vigorous progress," he told workers and dignitaries in Section 9 campsite of the project at Syokimau, just outside Nairobi. He added, "Currently over 2,000 Chinese and 25,000 Kenyan workers are proceeding with the project." The Syokimau campsite handles the design and construction of the infrastructure that will handle electric power transmission that will be used by the locomotives. Once complete, the campsite will be the command center of the SGR operation system. See also: Isiolo airport terminal to open in December The envoy said that the SGR project has recently established a talent training base that is expected to train more than 15,000 skilled workers as well as 400 engineers and advanced technicians.

He also announced plans to set up a railway academy to train key Kenyan staff in railway construction, operation and maintenance even after the Chinese are gone. "Currently, 94 per cent of casual labourers in the SGR project are Kenyans while 64 per cent of skilled workers are also Kenyans. Besides a great deal of construction material like cement and commodities have been purchased locally," he said. He was speaking during a programme to entertain the SGR workers organised by Confucious Institute of the University of Nairobi which teaches Chinese language and culture to Kenyans. On his part, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said the security agencies are keen to ensure maximum security for the SGR workers to ensure that they conduct their work without any hitches. "This is a vital project that will enhance the prosperity and development of our country and the entire region. We will do our best to ensure it proceeds without interruption. This project will cement the ties of friendship between Kenya and China," he said.

UAECEMENT.COM - Aug ,27 ,2015

Worker electrocuted at Ambuja plant
A worker has died after being electrocuted at the Ghanauli cement plant in Uttar Pradesh. Prem Pal, was working on a piece of equipment at the plant owned by Ambuja Cements, according to local police. Following the incident, other workers at the plant staged an immediate strike. They also demanded that US$37,500 be paid to Pal s family by way of compensation and stated their dissatisfaction with company vice president Rajesh Sondhi, who they claim has presided over a period of poor health and safety management at the plant.

In response, company civil engineer Ajay Vashisht said the machine on which Prem Pal had been working was not faulty. He added that it had been sent for examination. It is not clear whether the company has acted or will act on the demands of the strikers.
UAECEMENT.COM - Aug ,25 ,2015

Lucky Cement signs contract with SAP Enterprises
Lucky Cement Limited has signed a contract with Siemens Pakistan to implement SAP Enterprise System. Following on its legacy of growth and innovation Lucky Cement Limited would be the first cement company in Pakistan to start implementation of SAP on HANA database.

“We have always focused on innovation and excellence as the building pillars of our continuous growth,” said Executive Director, Noman Hasan. “Through SAP, we aim to drive progress through greater integration of our various locations, agility and enhanced efficiency of our operations and further efficiencies in our processes.” Being a leading cement corporation, this strategic decision lays down the foundation for technological advancements in the organization s business framework and operations. SAP deployment will integrate all the departments along with their distinct operations including finance, production and supply chain.
UAECEMENT.COM - Aug ,25 ,2015

Tianshan Cement to establish joint venture in Georgia
Georgia: Xinjiang Tianshan Cement has recently signed an agreement with a Georgian cement company and Xinjiang Hualing Industry & Trade to establish a joint venture in Georgia.

With total investment of US$60m, the joint venture will launch a production line with 3000t/day of clinker capacity and 1.2Mt/yr of cement capacity. Xinjiang Tianshan Cement and Xinjiang Hualing Industry & Trade will control an at least a 65% stake the venture, while the Georgia-based cement company and Xinjiang Hualing Industry & Trade will jointly control a 35% stake at most.

UAECEMENT.COM - Aug ,25 ,2015

Tianshan Cement to establish joint venture in Georgia
Georgia: Xinjiang Tianshan Cement has recently signed an agreement with a Georgian cement company and Xinjiang Hualing Industry & Trade to establish a joint venture in Georgia.

With total investment of US$60m, the joint venture will launch a production line with 3000t/day of clinker capacity and 1.2Mt/yr of cement capacity. Xinjiang Tianshan Cement and Xinjiang Hualing Industry & Trade will control an at least a 65% stake the venture, while the Georgia-based cement company and Xinjiang Hualing Industry & Trade will jointly control a 35% stake at most.

UAECEMENT.COM - Aug ,23 ,2015

Cement consumption rises in Vietnam
Cement consumption in Vietnam grew 10% y/y to 40.98 million t between January and July. The increase is attributed to higher demand from infrastructure construction projects, including transport, hydro-power and social housing. July alone saw consumption of 6.5 million t of cement.

Exports were also up, at 9.77 million t in the January – July period, marking a 13% y/y rise. It is estimated that cement consumption this year will be between 72 – 74 million t.

Meanwhile, Tan Thang Cement Joint Stock Company has signed a credit agreement worth VND3.1 trillion (US$147 million) with the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam and Bac A Bank for the 1.98 million tpy cement plant project in the Quynh Luu district. The agreement has a maximum term of 12 years.

The new plant requires a total investment of VND4.5 trillion (US$213.8 million). The government approved the plant as a key project for the province. Equipment will come from Bedeschi, ThyssenKrupp, Loesche, Haver & Boecker and ABB. About 30% of the plant s output will be exported to Laos.

UAECEMENT.COM - Aug ,23 ,2015

India Cements posts US$6.15m net in the first quarter of its 2016 fiscal year
The India Cements has posted a net profit of US$6.15m for the quarter that ended on 30 June 2015 when compared with a net loss of US$455,297 in the same period of 2014. This is the second successive quarter that it has reported a net profit. The India Cements attributed the good performance to better prices for cement bags and lower expenses as a consequence of cost-control measures.

The India Cements earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBIDTA) grew to US$30.6m from US$25.5m in the same quarter of 2014. Net sales for the quarter fell to US$165m from US$189m in the same period of 2014 as cement sales fell to 2.08Mt from 2.39Mt in the 2014 quarter.

"It was a strong quarter and price stabilisation is slowly taking place. Overall, we have turned a corner. Our next task is to the stabilise performance and improve the bottom line through a combination of cost control measures and increases in volume," said N Srinivasan, vice chairman and managing director of the company.

Srinivasan said that cement demand in the south of India continued to be under pressure with negative growth. With the huge excess capacity in the region, utilisation levels remained at less than 60%, compared with the 70% levels seen for India as a whole. Srinivasan said that he hoped that Seemandhra and Telangana would spur demand to help improve utilisation levels.

UAECEMENT.COM - Aug ,20 ,2015

Pakistan:Construction activities push cement sales up by 4.19%
The increasing construction activities of mega housing projects in the public and private sectors have pushed up the sales of cement in the local market, showing an increase of 4.19% in July 2015 as compared to the previous financial year.

According to the statistics of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers’ Association (APCMA), the cement sales to domestic markets increased by 4.19% to 1.8 million tonnes as compared to 1.73 million tonnes
during the same month
last year.

However, the expected growth of cement sales could not pick up due to rains and floods in many parts of the country, which temporarily ceased the construction activities of different projects.

The domestic despatches in the north zone stand at 1.520 million tonnes as compared to 1.42 million tonnes of July 2014 and in the south zone, it reached 0.279 million tonnes as against 0.309 million tonnes of July 2014.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported that the contribution of the cement sector in large-scale manufacturing (LSM) grew by 11% during July to March 2014-15 as compared with 0.5% in 2013-14.

While the construction and allied industries (cement, steel) recorded a strong growth, other industries (chemical, wood and glass) having a small share in LSM index, experienced a slowdown, as new and large entrants have out competed smaller units, the central bank reported on the State of Pakistan’s Economy.

The exports of cement continued to disappoint, standing at 465,000 tonnes against 503,000 tonnes during July 14, showing reduction of 7.45%. Total despatches during July 15 were 2.26 million tonnes as compared to 2.23 million tonnes during the same month last year, showing an increase of 1.56%.

The exports from north zone were 274,000 tonnes while exports from south zone were 192,000 tonnes. In July 2014, the cement exports from north were 295,000 tonnes and from south were 208,000 tonnes.

While the exports to Afghanistan declined to 178,000 tonnes during July 15 as compared to 184,000 tonnes during July 14, major decline was observed in exports to India that showed substantial reduction to 43,000 tonnes during July 15 against 63,000 tonnes during the same month last year, showing a downfall of around 32%.
UAECEMENT.COM - Aug ,17 ,2015

Cemex to Sell Some Europe Assets
Mexican cement and building materials company Cemex SAB signed agreements to sell assets in Europe for €391 million ($437.9 million), making a start on a plan to sell assets for as much as $1.5 billion to pay down debt.

Cemex said Wednesday it will sell three cement plants, two aggregates quarries and seven ready-mix concrete plants in Croatia to Duna-Drava Cement for about €230.9 million. It will also sell 29 aggregates quarries and 64 ready mix plants in Austria and Hungary to Rohrdorfer Group for €160.1 million. It expects to close the deals in the fourth quarter.

Cemex s operations in Croatia had sales of $138 million in 2014, while the Austrian and Hungarian operations generated sales of $288 million. The Croatia sale also includes some facilities such as terminals in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia.

The sales are the first under a plan by the Monterrey-based company to sell assets for up to $1.5 billion over the next year to lower its debt, which stood at $15.93 billion at the end of June, down from $17.05 billion a year earlier.

"Under different circumstances, this news should be positive for the share price. However, given the macroeconomic environment, in the best of cases it should put a floor on the Cemex share price," the Vector brokerage said in a note. Cemex shares were down 2.4% early Wednesday on the Mexican stock exchange at 12.98 pesos ($0.80).

The sale of the assets should increase Cemex s profitability, since its profit margins in Northern Europe, which includes Austria and Hungary, are below those of its other markets, Vector added.

Other countries where Cemex has operations in Europe include the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, and the Czech Republic.
UAECEMENT.COM - Aug ,17 ,2015

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Arab Union for Cement and Building Materials
 10th Middle East CemenTrade, 05-06 Oct, 2015, Dubai
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