Displaying items by tag: LIbya
Libya: The Libyan Army’s spokesman Colonel Ahmed Mismari says that the Libyan Cement Company hired contractors from the Russian security company RSB Group to clear mines at its Benghazi plant, according to Russian Sputnik news agency. The clarification came in response to reports by Reuters that regional leader Khalifa Haftar had hired the contractors directly. Libyan Air Force Brigadier General Mohammed Manfour confirmed to Sputnik that Libya had no contracts with Russian private military companies. He added that the Libyan cement company had an agreement with a British insurance company that required it to clear the plant from mines, explosives and other remnants of military operations.
Striking news from Libya this week with the announcement that an investor with international backing wants to buy the majority stake in the Libyan Cement Company.
Libya holdings owner Ahmed Ben Halim is in the process of buying out the Austrian Group Asamer that originally bought a majority share for US$145m back in 2008. Most of the remaining share was owned by the Economic and Social Development Fund. Taking over the company now seems bold from a European perspective or Ahmed Ben Halim got a very good price. No financial information regarding the deal has been made public.
Libya has remained politically unstable since the civil war in 2011. According to the Libyan Herald, following the war a strike at the Libyan Cement Company's plants for lost wages stopped production. Since then two of the three cement plants the company runs in east Libya near Benghazi have remained shut due to their proximity to fighting with the Ansar Al-Sharia militia. Before the civil war in 2011 the Libyan Cement Company had a combined cement production capacity of 6Mt/yr almost half the USGS estimated production for the entire country in that year.
The Libyan Cement Company's plants are all located in the east of the country under the nominal control of the Council of Deputies based in Tobruk. Its two plants in Benghazi have remained shut due to their proximity to fighting with the Ansar Al-Sharia militia. A third plant near Derna has also had security issues. Halim told the Financial Times that he was not 'crazy' to be investing at this time. "We have a long-term strategic plan" he said, "that Libya's going to rebuild its infrastructure. And a key element of this is cement." If he can hold out until the rebuilding starts then he may just be right.
Meanwhile across the border in Egypt, Minister of Supply Khaled Hanafy announced this week that cement prices had remained 'stable' for the fifth month in row. Some commentators placed improved energy supply security at the heart of this situation allowing producers to build up inventory. However, given the situation in Libya, it is worth considering what will happen once Libyan demand for cement does pick up both in competition for energy supplies like coal and a keener export market.
Finally, our editorial director Dr Robert McCaffrey was at the IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Conference in Toronto, Canada this week. Here's his snapshot of PCA economist Ed Sullivan's forecast for future US cement supply and demand.
Ed Sullivan's forecast for future US cement supply and demand, at IEEE in Toronto. pic.twitter.com/RUoT7uHGtg— Robert McCaffrey (@DrRobMcCaffrey) April 28, 2015
The UK London Underground has 'mind the gap' as its well-known warning phrase to prevent passengers falling between the platform and the trains when boarding. The favourable supply gap Ed Sullivan is talking about in US will be one cement producers will definitely not want to miss.
Libya: Libya Holdings Group (LHG) is to acquire a majority stake in Libyan Cement Company through a special purpose acquisition vehicle. The LHG sponsored vehicle will acquire a controlling interest in Libyan Cement Company from QuadraCir Group (QuadraCir). It is anticipated that the acquisition will close by 30 April 2015. The transaction will be funded by LHG, using its existing cash resources, together with some of the leading families and industrial companies in the Gulf Cooperation Council region as co-investors.
Libyan Cement Company is the oldest cement company in Libya, has a significant market share in the Libyan cement market, and is the only producer of cement in eastern Libya. Under the terms of the acquisition, LHG and its co-investors intend to invest in the cement producer to stabilise operations and increase cement production capacity to over 3Mt/yr. The investment is targeted to meet the demand for cement in eastern Libya which is reliant on imports.
"We are very pleased to have been able to execute this transaction in a complex environment, retaining operational continuity for the cement company and at the same time securing its long-term growth potential which will benefit the Libyan economy," said Ahmed Ben Halim, Founder and CEO of LHG.
Bahrain: Cemena Holding Company has outlined plans to expand its business during its AGM, which focused on Cemena's profitability, returns and plans to diversify its offering. Shareholders were updated on the company's activities and financial performance for 2011 and the milestones reached during the year. The company, which was set up in 2008 by Gulf Finance House, also highlighted its new business strategy and hailed efforts of the management in achieving gross revenues of US$46.4m in 2011.
Shareholders were updated on the planned expansion of Falcon Cement Company's (FCC) production capacity, (Bahrain's first cement plant) bringing it up to a capacity of 3500t/day. The company said that the expansion of FCC will help it to meet Bahrain's growing demand for cement, where there is an increasing number of infrastructure projects.
"With the return of the growing demand for cement and building materials locally and in the region, Cemena successfully closed 2011 in profit," said Cemena chairman Hisham Alrayes. "This is a result of the tireless efforts of the team and the trust and confidence that our shareholders have in our vision."
Alrayes added, "Libya (is) stabilising (enabling) us to progress on our Libya Cement Plant. We are confident that we now have a strong platform for growth and expect to witness another strong cash flow performance in 2012."