Displaying items by tag: Guatemala
Guatemala: Austria’s Doppelmayr has started up a RopeCon conveyor system for Cementos Progreso’s San Gabriel plant near Guatemala City. The 1.6km conveyor will transport 2100t/hr of limestone from a quarry to the plant across wooded terrain and it rises up to a height of 200m off the ground using four tower structures. The long rope structure of the system has enabled it to use a minimum amount of space on the ground. The new cement pant is expected to start operation in the first half of 2017.
Guatemala: Cemex has completed production and bagging line upgrades its Arizona cement grinding plant in the Port of San José. The project cost US$3.7m and it included the completion of a second bagging line, changes in lift capacity and the installation of new mill controls, according to the Prensa Libre newspaper. The upgrades are expected to increase the plant’s production capacity by about 10% to 545,000t/yr and to speed up bagging by 46% to 96t/hr.
Guatemala: Cemengal has commissioned a new 12t/hr Plug&Grind portable grinding unit for Cemento Regional. The station will supply cement to south and central Guatemala including the capital, Guatemala City. First cement production at the site was marked by the attendance of Roberto Díaz Durán, president and CEO of Cemento Regional, Antonio González Gallego, president and CEO of Cemengal and Moisés Rodríguez Núñez, sales and marketing manager of Cemengal.
Guatemala: Cementos Progreso will donate US$0.26 for every bag of cement sold in ConstruRed stores in Guatemala towards a fund that will be used to build 100 homes in the country. Consumers will be asked to put forward the name of someone they know who needs a home as part of this action. They have to be over 18 and have a plot of land ready for their home. The recipient will also have to give proof of a monthly incomes of less than US$650 in order to qualify.
South America/Asia: Mexican cement company Cemex has confirmed plans to expand its social responsibility programme to Guatemala, Bangladesh and the Philippines by 2016. The firm intends to installed self-employment production centres (CPA) in these countries to help low-income families renovate their houses.
The initiative, developed in collaboration with authorities and non-governmental organisations, provides construction training and teaches how to manufacture concrete blocks. Half of the production obtained at these centres is used in the construction or renovation of the participants' houses and the other half is bought by local governments to develop infrastructure projects. The income achieved by the initiative is then reinvested by Cemex in the centres.
Cemex already operates 80 CPAs in Mexico and expects to open 20 additional centres in 2015. It has also developed the initiative in Colombia since 2010.
Guatemala: Eight local inhabitants have died after a clash that saw residents turn guns on their neighbours over plans to build a road and a cement plant. Interior minister Mauricio Lopez said that the authorities were working to determine what actions would be taken after the clashes that began on 20 September 2014 and continued into 21 September 2014 in San Juan, Suchitepéquez Department. Several homes and five vehicles were burned.
"We need a greater security presence in the area to regain control," said Lopez, noting that about 600 policemen were deployed in the area where the incident took place. The conflict escalated because some of the local community are being forced to leave their homes due to the construction, while others have been in favour of the cement plant and sold land for the road. According to farming community leader Daniel Pascual, gunmen had fired on villagers opposed to the project. He stated that some of the attackers were employees of the cement company.
In July 2013 Cementos Progreso began to construct a cement plant in San Gabriel, Suchitepéquez for US$720m. It is expected to begin operations in 2017. However, the project has divided the local population between those who support the company and those who oppose the construction due to fears it will damage groundwater sources and cause other environmental damage.
Guatemala: Cementos Progreso will open a new cement plant, called San Gabriel, in San Juan Sacatepequez in the first quarter of 2017. The firm is investing US$700m on the 2.2Mt/yr capacity cement plant.
Guatemala: Local press has indicated that Guatemalan residents are protesting against local cement manufacturer Cementos Progreso's plans to build a cement factory in San Juan Sacatepéquez, 30km north west of Guatemala City. Members of 12 local communities claim that they were not consulted prior to works commencing and they say that the cement plant will contaminate the local environment.
The cement factory will be built in the area to serve construction of a 24km highway known as the 'Anillo Regional' that will connect the departments of Guatemala, Quiché, Baja Verapaz and Chimaltenango. The highway is expected to cost US$19.2m and works are being carried out under a public-private partnership, in which Cementos Progreso is participating.
The Guatemalan president Otto Pérez inaugurated the start of construction works in May 2013 and defended the project, saying that it would bring development to the area, according to a presidential statement. "I want to ask the local population, which will benefit from the project, to help us and collaborate," said Pérez. The president also characterised claims that the highway will damage the environment, affect local farming and reduce water resources in the area as 'lies.'
Just before the end of 2012 Holcim sold shares in companies it owned in Thailand and Guatemala. It reduced its stake in Siam City Cement Company (SCCC) in Thailand from 36.8% to 27.5% and it sold its entire 20% minority stake in Cementos Progreso in Guatemala. For the sale of these two share packages Holcim received approximately Euro310m.
This is interesting given that Asia-Pacific was the Switzerland-based multinational's biggest sales area in 2011 and because sales of cement rose by 6% in Latin America in 2011. Similarly in 2012 from January to September the two regions propped up the group's profits. Why would Holcim sell stakes into two of its most profitable regions?
In its third quarter report in 2012 Holcim repeatedly described Thailand as 'encouraging' following floods in 2011. It added that it had focused increasingly on the cement market in the country and strengthened its position in neighbouring countries that resulted in lower clinker exports.
According to the Global Cement Directory 2013 SCCC has a capacity of 31Mt/yr, 65% of Thailand's total capacity of 48Mt/yr. SCCC predicted in December 2012 that domestic cement demand would increase by 5-10% in 2013. The company is currently planning to build new plants in Indonesia and Cambodia and is considering investing in Myanmar. In Indoniesia Holcim is the third biggest producer after Semen Gresik and HeidelbergCement subsidiary Indocement.
Meanwhile in Central America, Cementos Progreso was the sole producer in Guatemala with 2.5Mt/yr from two plants. This was set to double with the commissioning of a third plant towards the end of 2012. However, Holcim retains seven plants in southern Mexico (12Mt/yr), both of El Salvador's plants (2Mt/yr) and a plant in Costa Rica (1Mt/yr).
With Holcim's strong presence in Central America and the North American market reviving leaving Guatemala makes sense with the group's debt reduction programme in mind. The situation in Thailand is more complex, so unsurprisingly Holcim has reduced its stake rather than leaving completely. SCCC's expansion plans outside of Thailand suggest, that although growing, the market is maturing. In one such potential expansion target, Indonesia, Holcim is already a major producer.
In its press release announcing the sales in Thailand and Guatemala, Holcim attributed the decision to its ongoing debt reduction programme. As part of its 'Leadership Journey' the group intends to save Euro1.25bn by the end of 2014. Other savings in 2012 included reducing management in Europe, layoffs and closures in Australia, a plant closure in Hungary, further delays on the decision to build a new plant in New Zealand and layoffs in Spain. The management changes in Europe alone contributed a Euro99m chunk of Holcim's target saving of Euro124m for 2012.
Yet it's worth considering that a week after the sales of its shares Holcim's subsidiary in India, Ambuja Cements, announced investments of Euro277m in India. Perhaps the best way to save money is to make more money.
Thailand/Guatemala: Holcim Ltd has reduced its shareholding in Siam City Cement Company Ltd (SCCC) from 36.8% to 27.5%. The shares have been purchased by Bangkok Broadcasting and Television, a Ratanarak Group company, which will increase its shareholding in SCCC to 47%.
Elsewhere, Holcim has sold its 20% in Cementos Progreso SA to its majority shareholder, Grupo Cemcal SA Progreso, which owns a cement plant in San Miguel with an annual capacity of 3Mt/yr.
For the sale of these two share packages, which is part of the Holcim Leadership Journey, Holcim has received approximately US$410m.