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Green shoots in a challenging market
Cost savings in Egypt and rising volumes in Sub-Saharan Africa were not enough to prevent HeidelbergCement s Africa-Eastern Mediterranean Basin business reporting a fall in earnings in 2017, as weak Egyptian volumes and margin pressure in Sub-Saharan Africa more than offset the more positive trends. Like-for-like earnings down 2.7% in 2017 at €367 million, while cement volumes were down 0.6% at 19 million t. Volume growth in Sub-Saharan Africa was “not sufficient to compensate for the decline in Egypt due to the weak economy of the country,” HeidelbergCement said in its latest results. “On the cost side, Egypt could realise significant savings due to […] synergies and the adjustment of the fuel-mix due to the commissioning of a new coal mill. However, this was not sufficient to compensate for the margin pressure in the sub-Saharan countries.” There was however signs of improvement through the year with sales volumes growth in 4Q17 well above the annual average. Cement volumes were up 6.2% in the final quarter, while volumes of aggregates, ready-mixed concrete, and asphalt were significantly higher. Earnings meanwhile were up 20.2% in 4Q17. Demand growth is expected to accelerate through 2018, according to Dr Bernd Scheifele, Chairman of the Management Board at HeidelbergCement, continuing the positive trend seen at the end of 2017. Competition will however continue to pressurise margins across the region.
UAECEMENT.COM - Mar , 7,2017

UltraTech Cement fights rejected bid for Binani Cement
India: UltraTech Cement is querying the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) why its bid for Binani Cement had been rejected. The auction for the bankrupt Binani Cement was won by a consortium consisting of Dalmia Bharat and Bain Capital s India Resurgent Fund and Piramal Enterprises, according to the Business Standard newspaper. UltraTech Cement is questioning how the bid selection process was conducted. Although JSW Cement won the first round of bidding, the NCLT decided to ask for more bids. Bidders were then informed that their bids would be assessed using a weighted system that would consider each company s background, experience and upfront cash to be paid to the secured lenders.
UAECEMENT.COM - Mar , 7,2017

Lucky Cement takes legal action to prevent Pezu plant being shut on tax charges
Lucky Cememt has obtained restraining orders from the Peshawar High Court to prevent its Pezu plant being closed by the Excise and Taxation Department for not paying a US$135,000 property tax bill. A team from the Excise and Taxation Department attempted to close the site on 23 February 2018, according to the News International newspaper. The cement producer says that the plant continues to produce cement and despatch its products. The tax office has launched a drive to target tax defaulters in the region. It alleges that it has been chasing Lucky Cement’s tax bill for the past six years. /Global Cement
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb ,27,2017

Qatar National Cement to open fifth plant in first half of 2017
Qatar: Qatar National Cement Company (QNCC) plans to open its fifth cement plant in the first half of 2018. The move will increase its cement production capacity of 5500t/day, according to the Qatar Tribune newspaper. However, its sales of cement fell slightly to 3.4Mt in 2017 from 3.7Mt in 2016.The cement producer’s sales revenue fell by 9.6% year-on-year to US$283m in 2017 from US$313m in 2016. Its net profit decreased by 31% to US$90m from US$130m. The company blamed the falling profit on a poor local economy causing poor demand and a reduced selling price since April 2017./Global Cement
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb ,27,2017

LafargeHolcim to spend US$214m on new cement plant in Rajasthan
India: LafargeHolcim plans to spend US$214m towards building a new cement plant in the state of Rajasthan. The 3.1Mt/yr plant will be operated by its local subsidiary, Ambuja Cement, and it will target markets in the north of the country, including Delhi. Commissioning for the plant is scheduled for the second half of 2020. India is the second biggest global cement market and is forecasted to continue to see high growth rates. We are excited to invest in this highly attractive market to further strengthen our footprint and to reinforce our leading building materials position in India," said Jan Jenisch, Group chief executive officer (CEO) of LafargeHolcim.
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb ,22,2017

Forecast rise in US concrete construction
The rise in the US economy, supported by tax reform and a rise in federal infrastructure programmes, will support the growth of the US concrete construction industry. Ed Sullivan, Portland Cement Association’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, offered up this forecast for the US concrete construction industry in a press conference at the recent 2018 World of Concrete conference in Las Vegas. “There is little doubt that the near-term outlook for construction and cement consumption in 2018 and 2019 remain favorable,” said Sullivan. “Strengthening economic conditions, with the addition of fiscal stimulus, and in the context of already low unemployment could awaken inflationary pressures. This could lead to an even more stringent monetary policy, an acceleration in interest rate, and an eventual cooling of construction markets. If this scenario plays out, it will likely take time to gestate and not materialise to a significant degree until after 2019.” /WorldCement
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb ,15,2017

French cement sector to increase use of wood waste
France: The French cement industry union (SFIC), plus three other professional organisations, has announced that has committed to increase the amount of wood waste used in France s cement plants. It has committed to increasing the amount used by 90% compared to 2015 by 2020. 90,000t of wood were used as fuel in cement production in 2015. The goal is to use 170,000t in 2020. Four cement plants will act as pilot sites. The wood used must be from the same region as the plant burning it. According to the SFIC, alternative fuels account for 41% of cement fuels used in France.
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb ,15,2017

Eagle Materials records record revenues
US: Eagle Materials has reported its financial results for the third quarter of the 2018 fiscal year, which ended on 31 December 2017. It recorded record revenues of US$359.4m, a rise of 19% compared to the same period of the 2017 fiscal year Third quarter gross profit improved by 8%, reflecting the financial results of the recently acquired cement plant in Fairborn, Ohio and related assets (the Fairborn Business) and improved net sales prices across most of Eagle s businesses. Cement, Concrete and Aggregates Cement revenues for the third quarter, including joint venture and intersegment revenues, totalled US$161.6m, 17% higher than the same quarter last year. Total cement sales volumes for the quarter were 1.3Mt, 12% greater than the same quarter a year earlier. Like-for-like average net cement sales prices increased by 4% and sales volumes declined by 2%, respectively, versus the third quarter of fiscal 2017. This comparison excludes cement sales from the Fairborn Business since its acquisition date. Operating earnings from cement activities for the third quarter of the 2018 fiscal year were a record US$52.5m and were 16% greater than the same quarter a year ago. The earnings improvement was driven primarily by earnings from the Fairborn Business and improved average net cement sales prices offset by lower sales volumes from Eagle’s legacy facilities.
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb ,13,2017

Higher costs hit Lucky Cement’s bottom line
Pakistani cement maker, Lucky Cement, reported pre-tax profit of PKR8.09 billion in 2H17. This was slightly down on the same period in 2016, despite a rise in gross sales revenues to PKR32.85 billion, as rising costs hit the company’s bottom line. Costs rose to PKR14.37 billion from PKR11.78 billion in 2H16, while sales taxes and federal excise duty – which are deducted from the gross sales revenues – also rose substantially to PKR9.15 billion from PKR7.46 billion the year before. Post after taxation stood at PKR6.55 billion, slightly down at PKR7.04 billion over the last six months of 2016. Lucky Cement reported the start-up of a new production line at its Karachi plant, as well as a grinding unit in Iraq, in December 2017. The company also said it was evaluating brownfield expansion of its Pezu plant, in view of continued delays at its expansion plans in the north of the country. /WorldCement
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb ,10,2017

Energy Star rating for two LafargeHolcim cement plants
Two LafargeHolcim cement plants, Holly Hill in South Carolina and Devil’s Slide in Morgan, Utah, have been allocated the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star rating for their commitment to energy efficiency. The Energy Star rating is a national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy performance. “Receiving the Energy Star award this year at two sites is an affirmation of the hard work all our employees are devoting every day to meeting our environmental goals,” said John Stull, CEO of US Cement. “We are excited to receive these awards, and we intend on continuing to reach high levels of sustainability in the upcoming years so we can serve as an example to others in our industry.” This year is the eighth time the EPA has recognised both the Holly Hill and Devil’s Slide plants with the Energy Star award since 2009.
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb ,08,2017

Milling equipment market to reach US$1.3 billion by 2022
According to CW Research s recently published World Cement Equipment Market and Forecast Report, the global market of milling equipment, including upgrades, will reach US$1.3 billion by 2022, accounting for 14% of the global cement equipment market size in the same year. This expansion is encouraged by the rising number of grinding facilities comparative to the slow number of installations of integrated plants in the next five years. Milling is one of the few areas of cement process equipment where innovation continues to be ripe” observed Robert Madeira, CW Group Managing Director and Head of Research. “It may seem that the vertical roller mills were the last game-changing innovation, but we are seeing equipment manufacturers going beyond business as usual and paying more attention to niche segments whose needs for mobility, ease of usage and super fineness were poorly catered for in the past. /WorldCement
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb ,01,2017

UltraTech Cement gets green nod for limestone mining project
India: The Environment Ministry has approved a US$9.4m opencast limestone mine project by UltraTech Cement in Bhavnagar district, Gujarat. The cement producer has proposed to lease a 632 hectare site with a production capacity of 2.07Mt/yr, according to the Press Trust of India. The mine has total mineral reserves of 63.6Mt with a lifespan of 32 years. Conditions of the approval include relocating 147 families and a group of local farmers. Limestone from the mine will be used to support a proposed cement plant in Bhavnagar district. It will also be sent to UltraTech s other plants in the state. /GlobalCement
UAECEMENT.COM - Feb ,01,2017

Construction of new cement grinding plant in Uzbekistan starts
Uzbekistan: Construction work has started on Popcement s new grinding plant in the Pap district of Namangan region. The US$50m plant will have a production capacity of 0.5Mt/yr, according to Uzbekistan Daily. The project is expected to be completed in September 2018.It is a joint venture between Uzbek, Chinese and Saudi Arabian investors. /Global Cement
UAECEMENT.COM - Jan ,25,2017

SCG Cement sees sales growth in 2017 despite sluggish market
Thailand: SCG Cement s sales revenue rose by 3% year-on-year to US$5.5bn in 2017. Its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell by 6% to US$705m. The cement producer reported that overall domestic Ordinary Portland Cement demand fell by 5% in 2017 due to a slow recovery in the private sector. Total domestic consumption of cement was around 37.5Mt 2017 and exports rose to 4Mt from 3.7Mt in 2016. /Global Cement
UAECEMENT.COM - Jan ,25,2017

Attock Cement starts production on new line
A new production line has started operations at Attock Cement s Hub cement plant in Pakistan s Baluchistan province. The new line has a capacity of 4000 tpd or 1.2 million tpy of cement. Based in Karachi, Attock Cement is a subsidiary of Pharaon Group. It previously has capacity of 1.79 million tpy, according to the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA). With the new line, its total capacity will increase to around 3 million tpy. The new production line is one of several planned or opened recently in Pakistan. The country s largest cement producer, Lucky Cement, added 1.3 million tpy of capacity online in December. According to the APCMA, the country s total installed capacity as of December 2017 was 46.94 million tpy.
UAECEMENT.COM - Jan ,15,2017

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