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LATEST CEMENT INDUSTRY NEWS
UltraTech sees 7% growth in profit in first nine months
UltraTech Cement Limited achieved net sales of Rs.5490 crore in the quarter ended 31 December 2014, an increase of 15% y/y. Profit after tax for the first nine months was 7% up at Rs.1400 crore, while revenues in the same period increased by 16%. In all, the company sold 10.98 million t of cement and clinker in India and 3.16 lakh t of white cement and wall care putty.

Prices fell, but efficiency measures helped to contain costs, despite a rise in input and logistics costs. On a consolidated basis, profit before interest, depreciation and tax was Rs.1058 crore (up from Rs.928 crore) and profit after tax was Rs.401 crore (up from Rs.399 crore).

Going forward, UltraTech expects the business outlook to remain challenging. The company anticipates an 8% growth in demand in the long-term, driven by housing and infrastructure spends.

Acquisition of cement units of Jaiprakash Associates

The Board of UltraTech Cement had earlier approved the acquisition of the Bela and Sidhi operations of Jaiprakash Associates Limited – a capacity of 4.9 million tpy and 180 MW TPP. The company and JAL have entered into a definitive agreement for this acquisition which will propel the company’s cement capacity in India from ~60 mtpa to ~65 mtpa. With the company’s current projects under way, the capacity in India will stand raised to ~71 mtpa in 2016.

In exchange of the above business, the company shall issue non-convertible debentures worth Rs.4538 crore and non-convertible cumulative redeemable preference shares worth Rs.10 lakh. As part of the business, the company shall take over Rs.626.50 crores of debt and negative working capital of Rs.160.50 crores.

The transaction in subject to approvals and should close in 7 – 9 months.
UAECEMENT.COM - Jan,27,2015

Jurong Port cements green credentials
Jurong Port in Singapore is cementing its name as a green port. Having announced earlier this month that it would install a ~10 MW solar power installation at an investment of more than US$22 million covering 95 000 m2 of warehouse roof space, the port has followed this up with plans to create green berths made from recycled concrete, green cement, green steel mesh and green reinforcement bars. Two existing berths will be replaced and the concrete from these existing berths will be used in the green upgrade. As well as being greener, the new berths will also be deeper so that they can handle larger vessels and have additional storage space.

The Jurong port is the second largest in the world, handling about 5% of the world’s container traffic each year, or around 17 000 vessels.
UAECEMENT.COM - Jan,27,2015

India: JK Lakshmi s US$276m Durg cement plant starts production
Built at a cost of more than US$276m, JK Lakshmi Cement s new Durg cement plant in Chhattisgarh has started production.

The plant has an installed capacity of nearly 2.7Mt/yr. Following commissioning, JK Lakshmi Cement s installed cement production capacity stands at 9.3Mt/yr. A part of the US$4bn JK Organisation, the Durg plant will produce various types of cement, including Ordinary Portland cement, Portland pozzolana cement and slag cement.

The Durg project had in 2013 attracted the wrath of the local inhabitants, who set fire to part of the under-construction plant. They were reportedly angered by the reluctance of JK Lakshmi Cement to give jobs to people affected by the project. This caused serious damages at the construction site
UAECEMENT.COM - Jan,24,2015

Trinidad & Tobago: Trinidad Cement s manager appears on US$50m fraud charge
The manager of Trinidad Cement Limited s Employees Credit Union, Darren Singh has been denied bail after he appeared before a Port-of-Spain Magistrate charged with fraudulently transferring US$50m from the credit union s Unit Trust Corporation account to a Republic Bank account.

It is alleged that Singh, with intent to defraud, caused the transfer of US$50m from the credit union UTC s account to a Republic Bank account at Tropical Plaza, Pointe-a-Pierre in the name of TCL Credit Union on 18 January 2013, using a forged UTC wire transfer.

Prosecutor Callister Charles objected to bail being granted on the basis of the nature and seriousness of the offence, as well as allegations that threats had been made to witnesses in the case. Singh s attorney Candice Lopez countered that her client was a married man with five children and was the sole breadwinner of the family. She also said that Singh was the manager of the TCL Credit Union, had no previous convictions and was prepared to abide by any condition laid down by the court.
UAECEMENT.COM - Jan,24,2015

Qatari investors plan new cement plant in Ethiopia
A Qatari business group plans to invest US$500 million in Ethiopia, according to reports. The group met with Ethiopia’s president to discuss their investment plans, which include a cement plant in Dire Dawa as well as a sugar factory and other industrial facilities. No specifics have been announced as to the capacity of the cement plant.

In December, we reported that Ethiopia’s Ministry of Industry had released a draft Cement Industry Development Strategy with the aim of increasing cement consumption to 20 million t within 10 years from its current level of 6 million t. Greenfield and expansion projects are underway in the country, which earned almost US$10 million from cement exports in the last full budget year. Current capacity is at around 15.7 million t.
UAECEMENT.COM - Jan,23,2015

Iran stops producing clinker for 30 days
CG News-Iran: Iran s cement plants have all stopped producing clinker for 30 days, as of 14 January 2015. Abdolreza Sheykhan, an official with Iran s Cement Producers Association, said that the country currently has 17Mt of clinker in store.

"We have stopped producing clinker in order to turn the current inventory to cement," said Sheykhan, adding that the country s need is only 10Mt until the end of the current Iranian calendar year on 20 March 2014. The Iranian oil ministry will pay US$7/t of cement to production plants to compensate for their loss. "Iran s current cement output is around 6.5Mt/month," said Sheykhan. "The country s need, however, is around 4.5 – 5Mt/month."

Iran exported nearly 9.25Mt of cement in the first eight months of the current Iranian year, which started on 21 March 2014. This is 8.5% lower compared to the same period in the previous year. Sheykhan had previously said that the insecurity in Iraq and reduction in the number of destination markets for Iran s cement are the major reasons behind the fall in exports.

"Azerbaijan was one of the major importers of Iran s cement, but the country has now reached self-sufficiency and reduced its imports from Iran," said Sheykhan. He named Russia and African countries as new markets for Iran s cement exports, adding that by taking the mentioned markets, Iran can increase its cement and clinker exports by 1.5Mt/yr.

UAECEMENT.COM - Jan,19,2015

Tajikistan to build six new cement plants in two years
Six new cement plants will be put into operation in Tajikistan in 2015 and 2016, Tajikistan’s Ministry of Industry and New Technologies said on Tuesday, Avesta news agency reported.

Tajik-Chinese joint venture Tajchina has already started the construction of a cement plant with annual capacity of 1.2 million tons. The plant is expected to be put into operation this year.

New cement plants will also be built in Dangara, Bobojon Gafurov, and Isfara districts, as well as in Istiklol city.

Another cement plant, with annual production capacity of 1 million tons, will be constructed in the Yovon district in two years.

Today there are 10 cement plants in Tajikistan.

The country’s largest cement plant is Huaxin Gayur Cement Co., Ltd, with the participation of China’s HuaXin Cement Co. Ltd. The plant has a capacity of 1 million tons.

HuaXin signed an investment agreement with the government of Tajikistan in September 2014. According to the agreement, HuaXin will invest $250 million to construct a second and third cement production line in Tajikistan, which will be put into operation in 2015 and 2016, respectively. By then, the overall production capacity of HuaXin in Tajikistan will reach 3.5 million tons.

Four projects to build cement plants in Tajikistan are currently underway with Chinese investments.

With the commissioning of new cement plants Tajikistan would become an exporter of cement, Avesta earlier reported citing a source in the country’s industrial sector.

According to official statistics, in January-November 2014 Tajikistan produced 1.1 million tons of cement, by 783 thousand tons more than in the same period last year.

In January-October 2014 Tajikistan imported 487 thousand tons of cement worth $54 million, by 494 thousand tons less than in the same period in 2013.
UAECEMENT.COM - Jan,14,2015

Dalmia Cement celebrates anniversary in North East
Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited (DCBL) held an anniversary celebration to mark two years of successful operations in the North East.

"Dalmia Cement has sustained its success in the North East over the past two years with consistent performance, signifying best-in-class quality and strength," said Abhra Banerjee, Executive Director, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited, North East. "We are the first brand in the region to achieve a record 2.1 million tonnes of sales in the first two years of operations and this achievement makes us very proud."

As part of the celebrations, nine young achievers were felicitated for their skills and performances in their respective field of performing arts, cinema, sports and journalism by brand ambassador for DCBL in North East, Mary Kom.

"Hard work, commitment and perseverance are the perfect ingredients for success. On the occasion of Dalmia Cement s two years of successful operations in North East, it gives me immense happiness to encourage young achievers to achieve even more," said Mary Kom, adding: “I wish DCBL all the best in its efforts to promote the indigenous small scale industries."

"The past two years have been very exciting for DCBL in the North East. We launched our first ever corporate campaign underlining continued commitment to nation-building with the philosophy of newthink! demonstrated by Dalmia Bharat. This was supplemented with various other initiatives, such as HALC (Higher Alite Low Celite) based cement, which is a new technology in cement in the North East market, setting a new benchmark for excellence. In addition, our association with our national brand ambassador Mary Kom strengthened, marked by a number of activities including her successful movie release last year," said Mr. B K Singh, Senior Executive Director, Group Marketing and Corporate Communications, Dalmia Bharat Group.

Over the past two years, Mary Kom has helped DCBL establish itself as one of the most popular cement brands in the North East.

UAECEMENT.COM - Jan,14,2015

Saudi Arabia: Yamama Cement reports drop in net profit of 23% to US$179m
Yamama Cement has reported that its net profit in 2014 has fallen by 23% year-on-year to US$179m from US$232m in 2013. The decrease was attributed to lower sales due to poor cement demand in 2014. Its operating profit fell by 21% to US$175m from US$221m.
UAECEMENT.COM - Jan,14,2015

Tanzania: NEMC builds road to court for Tanga Cement
The National Environment Management Council (NEMC) has vowed to take Tanga Cement to task over allegations of importing thousands of tonnes of hazardous materials. The official environmental overseers allege that Tanga Cement Company Ltd (TCCL) has been importing thermal coal from South Africa in violation of a 10-year-old law that bans an individual or company from importing hazardous materials unless authorised by the NEMC. NEMC officials believe that TCCL s coal is an environmental hazard because it was imported from South Africa, not only without their knowledge, but also without their consent.

"We don t have anything personal, we just want them to abide by the law," said NEMC environment officer Magori Wambura. He added that TCCL had not only ignored the marine conservation laws, but also the government and the public it serves. "We ll take this issue seriously until we make sure they are punished," said Wambura. The NEMC has the power to revoke operational permits for the violating organisations, to settle environmental disputes and to file civil and criminal cases in the court of law.

Legal counsellor John Mnyele from the environmental monitoring council in Tanga said that they would also take TCCL to task for violating the agreement that it had signed with another State environmental monitoring offshoot, the Environment and Social Management Plan (ESMP) on the purchase of coal. Mnyele said that the agreement restricted TCCL s import of coal, limiting it to the use of thermal energy from Kiwira Coal Mines in Mbeya and other sources from Ruvuma region. Mining experts say there are about 1Bnt of coal reserves in southern Tanzania alone.
UAECEMENT.COM - Jan,07,2015

Pakistan: Attock Cement and K-Electric sign MoU for coal-fired plant
Attock Cement Limited and K-Electric have agreed to set up 40MW coal-fired plant, enough to power its cement plant. Surplus electricity will be sold back to the grid.

"Attock Cement has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with K-Electric for the installation of 40MW coal-fired plant at its Hub plant for its own utilisation and sell surplus power to K-Electric," said Attock Cement.

Fed up with constant electricity cuts and soaring energy prices, Pakistani businesses are exploring options to generate electricity from coal-fired plants. Attock Cement has already discussed various aspects of its planned coal-fired project with suppliers of plants and machinery.


UAECEMENT.COM - Jan,07,2015

First quarter launch for Al Jouf Line 2
Al Jouf Cement is to launch commercial production from its second kiln line in the first quarter of 2015, the Saudi-based cement producer said in a bourse statement.

The new 5000tpd line is currently undergoing trial operations which have taken longer than expected, the company noted.
UAECEMENT.COM - Jan,07,2015

Nigeria: Benue prices increase as Gboko stops production
Operations at Dangote Cement s Gboko plant have been temporarily grounded leading to an increase in cement prices in the Nigerian state of Benue, according to local press.

The Daily Times (Nigeria) reported on Saturday that commercial operations at the cement plant have been suspended over the last fortnight. The stoppage has led to prices in Benue state almost doubling from NGN1400 (US$7.67) to NGN2500 due to US$13.7, the report added.

The shutdown is being attributed to two main factors, according to Dr Bem Malladu, assistant general manager of community relations at the Gboko cement works. Firstly, the emergence of a cement glut has led to “over flooding of the market with various products,” he told the newspaper. Secondly, a shortage of power supplies has also contributed to operations being halted. During his interview with the daily, Mr Malladu highlighted that management is considering setting up a coal plant to stabilise power supplies to the factory.
UAECEMENT.COM - Dec,31,2014

Ethiopia: Derba Cement to Resume Full Production
Derba Midroc says that it will revert to normal delivery of cement orders in three weeks time following the maintenance of a broken machine in December 8, 2014.

The company is taking as long as three months to deliver prepaid orders, leading to price increases in the market. The company says its machine broke down four months ago, forcing its client retailers to switch to other factories, some of which had increased prices following the shortage in the market

Tesfaye Zewde, a retailer on Asmera Road, along the way from Megenagna to Kotebe, stopped ordering from Derba since October; the last order he made then is yet to be delivered to him. He now makes orders to Bedrok and Muger, that made deliveries in one and three days, respectively. The owner, who declined to be named, of Muez Cement shop along the same road, said that one particular factory had increased prices from 185Br per quintal to 230 Br, currently.

"Whenever Derba cement is available abundantly, other cement factories decrease their price to be competitive in the market, because many customers would like to buy Derba," he added.

Derba has only been delivering very large orders, accused Asfaw Ejigu, a retailer, he and others complaining that the company s failure to deliver had led to the creation of brokers who bought large quantities from the factory to sell to the retailers with a 10Br markup per quintal. Asfaw has been getting his cement supply from other factories, such as Muger, Mossobo and Bedrok, since August.

Derba tells the businesses that the delivery problem was a result of machinery shortage, power interruption, transport problems and absence of supply, says Tesfaye, although another retailer claimed shifting to other factories 11 months ago because of delivery problem.

The delay is caused by a breakdown of one of the three machinery, which occurred four months, but was already fixed by December 8, says Haile Assegd, Derba s CEO. The three machines each have a capacity of 26,000qt a day, with one of these machines dedicated to the Grand Renaissance Dam project, which takes 15,000qt to 20,000qt, Haile says. The market has been getting for the last months what the factory produces with only one of the three machines, which is about 30,000qt. The machine that has been fixed is now being used to service the overdue orders, after the end of which the cement will be available to the general market, Haile said.

Inaugurated on February 5, 2012, Derba cement was established with a capital of 2.8 billion Br by Sheik Mohammed Ali-Amoudi, with a 200 million dollar loan from the European Investment Bank, Africa Development Bank (ADB), International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE). It uses 1000 Volvo trucks to make delivery currently the factory has above 55,000 customers.
UAECEMENT.COM - Dec,31,2014

Ambuja Cements files special leave petition on tax incentives
Mumbai: Ambuja Cements Ltd on Tuesday said that it has filed a special leave petition on tax incentives with the Supreme Court of . The cement maker has filed the petition challenging an order by the Rajasthan high court. The order demanded Ambuja to pay Rs.248 crore, when the Rajasthan high court rejected the firm’s claim of availing sales tax incentives under a Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) order. In a filing to the exchanges, the company said that it had availed the incentives under the incentive scheme of the Rajasthan state for the period of fiscal 2002 to fiscal 2009. The assistant commissioner of commercial taxes department, Rajasthan had issued the demand notice for Rs.248 crore, by rejecting the company’s claim of availing sales tax incentives under the BIFR order. Ambuja had then filed a writ petition in the Jodhpur bench of the Rajasthan high court challenging the notice, which was dismissed in an order on 19 December. The incentives were pursuant to an order passed by BIFR while sanctioning the scheme of rehabilitation of Ambuja Cements Rajasthan Ltd, the company added. Ambuja Cements Rajasthan was later merged with the parent company. Shares of Ambuja Cement fell 0.22% to Rs.227.85 on BSE, while the exchange’s benchmark Sensex fell 0.71% to 27,506.46 points.
UAECEMENT.COM - Dec,28,2014


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