Displaying items by tag: Legal
Indonesia: Semen Indonesia plans to start commercial operation of its Rembang cement plant in the first half of 2017. Rizkan Chandra, the chief executive, of the state-owned cement producer revealed the company’s plans, despite protests on environmental grounds by local residents, after a meeting with presidential staff in Jakarta, according to the Antara news agency. However the plant is waiting for environmental clearance that is expected to be released in April 2017. Previously a government minister said that the President Joko Widodo was expected to inaugurate the plant in mid-2017. However, in October 2016 the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the protesters and ordered Semen Indonesia to cease its activities.
China: China Shanshui Cement has obtained an injunction from the High Court in Hong Kong against its former management from posing as current managers, from entering the premises of, removing assets from or soliciting the employees of Shandong Shanshui. The injunction also prevents Mi Jingtian, Zhao Liping, Li Maohuan and Yu Yuchuan from each removing assets up to the value of US$20.5m from Hong Kong. The legal action follows an ‘illegal’ occupation in early April 2017 of the Jinan properties of its Shandong Shanshui subsidiary, during which representatives of Shanshui Cement were accosted by a hostile crowd.
Pakistan: Bestway Cement has cancelled its acquisition of Dewan Cement's north plant. It blamed the cancellation on delays and uncertainty following related legal proceedings at the Sindh High Court.
Bahrain: Cement companies in Bahrain have stopped importing cement from Saudi Arabia following a change in export laws that has increased the price. United Cement Company chief executive Faisal Shehab said that the four cement companies in Bahrain used to import a total of 25,000t/week, according to the Gulf Daily News. In March 2017 the law changed in Saudi Arabia allowing producers to export cement. However, the law has specified that companies should repay government subsidies and this has increased the price of exports to Bahrain by nearly 50%. The imported cement represents about half of Bahrain requirements. Previously, Bahrain imported cement from Saudi Arabia under a special arrangement set up in 2009. Bahrain producers are now seeking alternative imports from the UAE.
China: Shanshui Cement has said that the Jinan properties of its Shandong Shanshui subsidiary have been illegally occupied by Mi Jingtian, the former deputy general manager of the company and his associates. When the representatives of Shanshui Cement attempted to repossess the unit they were held against their will for over two hours by a hostile crowd until local police helped them to escape. During the debacle some of the directors of Shanshui Cement were hurt. The assailants were also reported as having used pepper spray, smoke bombs and water cannons. Shanshui Cement has called upon the local authorities to investigate the occupation of the properties. Mi Jingtian along with Li Maohuan, Yu Yuchuan, Zhao Liping, Chen Zhongsheng and Liu Xianliang were all dismissed from Shandong Shanshui in early 2017.
Colombia: Cemex Latam, the Latin American subsidiary of Cemex, intends to operate its Maceo cement plant project in Antioquia at a reduced capacity due to difficulties with its environmental clearance. The cement producer will continue building the 0.95Mt/yr plant but it will reduce its output to 0.25Mt/yr once it is operational, according to Reuters. The Colombian cement producer attempted to reverse the annulment of its environmental permits with the local body in late 2016.
In September 2016 Cemex fired several senior staff members in relation to the Maceo project and its subsidiary’s chief executive resigned. This followed an internal audit and investigation into payments worth around US$20.5m made to a non-governmental third party in connection with the acquisition of the land, mining rights, and benefits of the tax free zone for the project.
Indonesia: State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno says that President Joko Widodo is expected to inaugurate Semen Indonesia’s Rembang cement plant in April 2017. Soemarno made the comments following a visit to the plant, according to the Jakarta Post. The inauguration of the plant is dependent on environmental clearance, which should be completed in April 2017. However, the plant has been the focus of intense protests by local farmers and both the Supreme Court and a local government ruled to shut down the plant.
Fiji: The Fiji Fish Marketing Group, a fish exporter, is taking legal action against two cement producers for transporting and offloading clinker. Pacific Cement and Tengy Cement Fiji with RPA Group Fiji, a transport company, have been accused of causing damage to the Fiji Fish Marketing Group’s property and its personnel, according to the Fiji times newspaper. Tengy Cement Fiji operates a cement plant in Lami near to the island capital Suva.
Philippines: The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) is preparing to investigate the cement industry for alleged violations of competitive practice. It says it has found reasonable grounds to proceed to a full administrative investigation on the cement industry for possible violations of Sections 14 and 15 of the Philippine Competition Act, according to the Philippine Star newspaper. This follows a legal statement by Victorio Dimagiba, a former trade undersecretary, in August 2016 accusing the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CEMAP), LafargeHolcim Philippines and Republic Cement and Building Materials of engaging in anti-competitive agreements.
Dimagiba has accused the cement producers of striking illegal agreements including, “restricting competition as to price or components thereof or other terms of trade, abusing their dominant position by engaging in conduct that substantially prevents, restricts, or lessens competition, imposing barriers to entry, or committing acts that prevent competitors from growing within the market.” He has also alleged that Ernesto Ordonez, the head of CEMAP, has used the trade association to justify violating the Philippine Competition Act, as well as maintaining prices of domestic cement in the retail market ‘unreasonably’ high.
Ordonez responded to the claims saying that he was puzzled about the PCC’s decision and that CEMAP had not been informed about a preliminary inquiry.
Pakistan: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has found that Zeal Pak Cement dodged paying US$19.7m to the authorities via tax evasion and money laundering schemes. As well as underpaying tax on imports of cement the cement producer also sent money to Iran, according to the National Herald Tribune newspaper. The FBR was alerted to the malpractice mid-way through importing a 86,500t consignment of Ordinary Portland Cement that was subsequently impounded. Zeal Pak Cement is also accused of fabricating false invoices and other documents.