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LATEST CEMENT INDUSTRY NEWS
Lafarge s closed Syria cement plant comes under attack
Syria: On 25 September 2014 Islamic State militants seized and set fire to Lafarge s cement plant in northern Syria.

"While advancing on the Kurdish town of Ain al-Arab near the Turkish border, the militants seized the Lafarge cement plant and burnt down part of it," said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The plant had been closed recently as security could not be guaranteed in the area. Islamic State jihadists had taken over a major city in that part of northern Syria, sparking tens of thousands of mainly Kurdish refugees to flee into nearby Turkey. Once guarded by the Syrian army, responsibility for the plant s security was turned over to the main Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in August 2013.

UAECEMENT.COM - Sep,27 ,2014

Nigeria: The SON begins full implementation of cement standardisation policy
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has begun to implement the cement standardisation and reclassification scheme with a zonal stakeholders forum on blocks and allied products in the south west. The SON has also received directives from the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment to immediately commence the full enforcement of the policy across all segments of the cement and allied products sector.

The federal government s regulator of quality and standards began with the official unveiling of the new packaging and labelling model for the three different classes of cement in the nation s market, with clear labelling and colour coding to help stakeholders easily distinguish between 32.5, 42.5 and 52.5 grade cements in order to prevent misuse.

The minister of States for Industry, Trade and Investment, Samuel Ortom, expressed delight over the move by SON to firm up the regulations for building materials in the country. Ortom endorsed the decision to contrive the new cement packaging and labelling in line with the recently-approved Nigerian Industrial Standard for Cement, stressing that these steps would go a long way to enhance the building and construction industries.

"One key focus of standardisation all over the world is continual improvement aimed at customer satisfaction. This is only attainable through the diligent implementation of specifications for products and services as prescribed in the relevant approved standards," said Ortom. "Standards in themselves are dynamic in that they undergo reviews as necessary, towards ensuring continual improvement in products quality."

UAECEMENT.COM - Sep,27 ,2014

India: Sagar Cements announces acquisition of BMM Cements
The board of directors of Sagar Cements Ltd (SCL) has approved the company s move to acquire a 100% stake in BMM Cements Ltd, which owns a 1Mt/yr capacity cement plant and other assets in Andhra Pradesh. The proposed acquisition will take SCL group s total cement capacity to 3.75Mt/yr from the existing capacity of 2.75Mt/yr.
BMM has an enterprise value of US$88.4m, 155Mt of limestone reserves and a 25MW captive power plant. The deal size is currently unknown, although SCL will take over BMM s debt.
"The proposed acquisition of BMM Cements comes at an opportune time wherein the demand environment and pricing in our region of operations looks encouraging," said Srikanth Reddy, executive director of SCL. "The two companies are wholly complementary geographically, with considerable potential for synergies."
UAECEMENT.COM - Sep,27 ,2014

India: new Karnataka plant for JSW Cement
JSW Cement Ltd is considering setting up a 4.3Mta cement plant in Gulbarga, Karnataka. The company s ownership of land in the limestone-rich region is quoted as one of the key advantages in building a new plant in Karnataka, according to SS Sandhu, associate vice-president of JSW Cement. A further advantage relates to Gulbarga s ideal location to supply the Maharashtra and Gujarat cement markets.
Moreover, since its sister company JSW Steel produces slag, JSW Cement could manufacture slag cement, though limestone would be a critical raw material in this additional output.
The company is optimistic about demand revival in the south, as the economic activity picks up in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, said SS Sandhu.
JSW Cement has a cement plant in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, with 4.8Mta capacity and a smaller plant with 0.6Mta capacity in Bellary, Karnataka. Besides, it had recently taken over a 1Mta capacity plant in Dolvi, Maharashtra. At present, JSW Cement has a group capacity to produce 6.4Mta of cement.
Asked about the economic slowdown, Mr Sandhu conceded that there was “negative growth” in construction the south, but “stability” has returned. Many projects are expected to come up in the near future in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The new Andhra capital planned in Vijayawada would also spur building activity, he added. The company expects a pick-up in demand will drive up capacity utilisation to 75 per cent by the end of the current fiscal from 55-60 per cent now.
In view of the shortage of river sand, slag sand is being increasingly used as an alternative to make cements, he added. However, the share of retail sales of slag sand is less as it is mostly used by cement makers.
UAECEMENT.COM - Sep,23 ,2014

Venezuelan-Iranian delegation visits the Cerro Azul cement plant
As part of the VIII Comisión Mixta Venezuela-Irán, a delegation of Iranian and Venezuelan officials, including José David Cabello Rondón and Mohammad Reza Newmazadeh, visited the Cerro Azul cement plant. The plant, which is currently 98% complete, is located in the municipality of Piar in the Venezuelan state of Monagas. Construction of the plant is being executed together with the Iranian company Ehdasse Sanat Venezuela.

The 1 million tpa facility is due to commence operations by the end of the year. It will account for 12% of Venezuela’s cement production, helping to contribute to the country’s housing initiative ‘la Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela’. The plant is strategically located near to a limestone quarry with around 100 years’ worth of reserves
UAECEMENT.COM - Sep,23 ,2014

Saudi Cement finishes $20mn kiln upgrade project
Saudi Cement has announced that it has completed a project to upgrade kilns 4 and 5 at its Hofuf factory.

The firm appointed Chinese contractor M/S Sinoma Technology & Equipment Group on the $19.9mn project in May last year, and work was initially due for completion by the end of 2014.

However, the drop in demand in the market over the past six months has meant that although work has now complete, it has decided not to open them for the time being.

It pointed to the fact that Saudi cement firms have a record clinker inventory of 19.8mn tons. In light of this, and that fact that its own sales are around 14% lower than last year, it said the "feasibility of operating these two kilns shall be reconsidered whenever market conditions warrant that".

The capital cost of the project will be written off over a ten-year period, it added.
UAECEMENT.COM - Sep,23 ,2014

Zambian minister accuses Dangote Cement of bribery
Zambia: A Zambian government minister, Fackson Shamenda, has accused a Dangote Industries Zambia (DIZ) executive of attempting to bribe him, according to local media. DIZ has described the allegations as malicious misinformation. DIZ has 400 workers building a US$400m cement plant in Zambia. The staff count should rise to 2000 when production starts in November 2014.

"For the record, DIZ categorically deny any claims of corruption and bribery and reserve our rights on this matter," said DIZ in a statement. Shamenda did not specify what was offered by the executive and said that he had rejected it because he had critical labour issues to sort out with DIZ and did not want to be compromised.

"He told me that it was a tradition in their culture to give someone a token of appreciation. Maybe his idea was that I turn a blind eye to what is happening at Dangote," said Shamenda, according to local media reports.

Shamenda also said that DIZ should offer workers at the company permanent employment and allow them to join unions. "There is no union and according to the reports I have received, those who have attempted to join unions have had their contracts terminated.
I have asked the labour commissioner to investigate and tell me all the categories of employees, because the reports we have received indicate there are no permanent employees."

DIZ said in its statement that Shamenda had made four surprise visits to the cement plant in the last four months, prompting the company to complain about his conduct as it felt that the minister was deliberately looking for wrongdoing. "DIZ was beginning to feel harassed and unwelcome in Zambia and immediately brought this to the attention of the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry," said DIZ in a statement.

GlobalCement - Sep,20 ,2014

Improving cement sales show stronger Saudi market
Saudi Arabia s construction market appears to be moving back towards a period of stronger growth following recent upheaval in the labour market, according to new data.

Although cement sales fell by 22.4% in the Kingdom in July due to the impact that the Ramadan/Eid holiday period had on sites, year-on-year sales in August increased by 29.8% in to 3.96mn tonnes according to NCB Capital.

As a result, it said that year-to-date sales "reflect the trend of normalisation" seen since the fall-out from a tightening of visa rules last year, which saw hundreds of thousands of expat workers taking advantage of a visa amnesty late last year and a further 370,000 being deported in the five months after a clampdown was introduced in November.

In an analysis on the Saudi cement market published earlier this year, NCB Capital had predicted that after experiencing lower rates of demand in the early part of the year, the market would pick up again as the year progressed. Currently, year-to-date sales are just 1.6% behind 2013.

However, NCB Capital added that the amount of clinker inventory held by cement firms had now hit an all-time high of 19.7mn, and could reach 25mn by the year end.

"Considering the Ramadan-adjusted sales data and management feedback, we still believe that demand will fully normalise in Q4 2014," it said.
UAECEMENT.COM - Sep,16 ,2014

Raysut Cement strikes Somaliland agreement
Oman s Raysut Cement has announced that it has agreed a deal with Barwaaquo Cement of Somaliland to operate a joint venture in the country.

The pair will build a $7.5mn terminal in the port city of Berbera which will have the ability to store and distribute both bagged and bulk cement set to be delivered from Oman by sea.

It will have a capacity to store up to 12,000 tons of cement by the time it completes at the end of 2015.

Raysut Cement s CEO Eng. Salim Bin Alawi Bin Mohammed Baabood said geographic expansion is one of the firm s main goals as Oman s biggest cement producer looks for alternative sources of revenue.
UAECEMENT.COM - Sep,16 ,2014

ICD buys $300mn stake in Nigerian cement company
Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) has purchased a $300mn stake in Nigeria s largest cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement plc, from majority shareholder Dangote Industries Limited.

Dangote Cement, owned by Africa s richest man Aliko Dangote, is expanding and plans to roll out cement plants across Africa to reach an annual 62mn tonnes capacity by 2017, up from a projected 42mn tonnes this year.

It reported pretax profit of 107.1bn naira ($659.4mn) in the first half, down 0.57% from a year ago, on revenues of 208.9bn naira.

Commenting on the deal, HE Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, executive director and CEO of ICD, said: "We believe Sub-Saharan Africa, and particularly Nigeria, provides fantastic long term investment opportunities. In this case, Dangote Cement provides some excellent investment credentials, being a highly profitable, well capitalised and efficiently run organisation, with a market leading position in the largest African economy and very well positioned to access and act on growth opportunities across the continent."

Shares in Dangote cement, which make up a third of Nigeria s stock market and hit a record high of 250 naira in July, traded flat at 223 naira on Monday, valuing Nigeria s biggest company at about 3.97tr naira ($24.5bn).

Aliko Dangote, chairman of Dangote Cement PLC, said: "Our products may be simple bags of cement but millions of Africans will use them to build a continent that is rich in opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors, like ICD, who support them."

UAECEMENT.COM - Sep,13 ,2014

Reliance Cement expands into Bihar
Reliance Cement Company, part of Reliance Infrastructure, has expanded its operations into Bihar state, located in northern India. According to local press reports, Bihar’s cement market is expected to grow at a rate of 9% over the next few years. The company noted that infrastructure developments, a booming real-estate market and an increase in industrial activity would drive growth throughout the region, which currently consumes around 14 million tpa of cement.

Reliance Cement has a total production capacity of around 5.8 million tpa and currently operates in the Indian markets of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Jharkhand.
UAECEMENT.COM - Sep,13 ,2014

India:Sagar Cements completes sale of its investment in Vicat Sagar Cement
Sagar Cements has completed the sale of its 47% stake in its joint venture company, Vicat Sagar Cement. Sagar had earlier obtained approval from the shareholders through postal ballot for the sale. Sagar and Vicat entered into the joint venture in June 2008 with the objective of setting up a 5.5Mt/yr cement plant in Gulbarga, Karnataka. The first phase of the plant, which was to reach a production capacity of 2.75Mt/yr, was completed in December 2012. Production commenced in January 2013.
UAECEMENT.COM - Sep,10 ,2014

Reliance Cement expands into Bihar
Reliance Cement Company, part of Reliance Infrastructure, has expanded its operations into Bihar state, located in northern India. According to local press reports, Bihar’s cement market is expected to grow at a rate of 9% over the next few years. The company noted that infrastructure developments, a booming real-estate market and an increase in industrial activity would drive growth throughout the region, which currently consumes around 14 million tpa of cement.

Reliance Cement has a total production capacity of around 5.8 million tpa and currently operates in the Indian markets of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Jharkhand.
UAECEMENT.COM - Sep,10 ,2014

Dubai s ICD buys US$300m stake in Nigeria’s Dangote Cement
The Investment Corp of Dubai (ICD) has bought a 1.4% stake in Nigeria s Dangote Cement for US$300m. Dangote Cement spokesman, Carl Franklin, confirmed the sale, but provided no further details.
UAECEMENT.COM - Sep,09 ,2014

Vietnam cement exports rise in first seven months
In the first seven months of 2014, Vietnam earned US$563m from the export of 13.1Mt of clinker and cement, a 24% rise year-on-year in value terms and a 20.4% increase in terms of volume. Indonesia, Taiwan and Malaysia were the largest importers of Vietnamese clinker and cement in this period, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Indonesia imported 1.42Mt of clinker and cement (worth US$69m), Taiwan bought 0.86Mt (US$37.6m) and Malaysia purchased 0.7Mt (US$34.7m). Cambodia was fourth with 0.29Mt (US$15.6m).

Vietnam s domestic cement sales are expected to rise by 9% year-on-year to between 49 - 50Mt in 2014, while cement and clinker exports are likely to hit 16 - 20Mt. The country exported 15Mt in 2013.
UAECEMENT.COM - Sep,05 ,2014


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