Displaying items by tag: Panama
Panama: Cemex Panama has opened its first admixture plant in the Panama Pacifico Free Trade Zone. The unit is part of US$15m series of investments by the construction materials company in the country, according to the El Economista newspaper. Products from the plant will be used locally and exported elsewhere in Central America and to the Caribbean.
Panama: Cementos Argos has sold a 20% share in its Panamanian subsidiary to the Panama-based real estate investment firm Grupo Provivienda for US$126m. The sale of its stake will leave Cementos Argos with 78.57% of shares in the company, an equivalent of US$700m, while the remaining 1.43% will remain under control of minority shareholders.
Overall, the Panamanian transaction is part of the company's US$350m divestment plan that will finance its purchase of the Essroc cement plant at Martinsburg, West Virginia, USA. The Martinsburg plant is being sold as part of divestments resulting from HeidelbergCement’s ongoing acquisition of Essroc’s parent firm Italcementi.
Panama: Cemex's Panamanian operations have been awarded the highest recognition in sustainable development and environmental management by the Panamanian Chamber of Construction (CAPAC). Cemex Panama earned this honour for its implementation of protection and conservation policies in the environments where it operates.
The award criteria included the company's environmental policies, energy and water efficiency, waste management and the handling of chemical substances; air pollution mitigation; environmental controls and records; environmental contingency plans; and reforestation plans.
Cemex Panama obtained this recognition thanks to such initiatives as its Technological Innovation Project based on P+L Systems, which resulted in energy savings of 32% at its cement plant; its Reduction of Water Consumption Project, which helped reduce its water consumption by over 35%; its waste management and waste-water treatment policies; its Reforestation Project, which will enable the recovery of 633,000m2 of forest by 2019.
"We are very honoured to receive this award, which recognises the integration of environmental management in our daily operations and processes," said Andres Jimenez, President of Cemex Panama. "Sustainability is an integral part of our business model and a core component of Cemex's future growth."
Colombia: Cemex Latam Holdings' consolidated net sales fell by 11% year-on-year US$394m during the second quarter of 2015. The decline was attributed to currency fluctuations and lower sales. Operating earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), also adjusted for the currency fluctuations, increased by 2% year-on-year during the second quarter of 2015.
Operating EBITDA in Colombia decreased by 23% year-on-year to US$68m in the second quarter of 2015, with a 24% decline in net sales to US$198m. Adjusting for currency fluctuations, EBITDA in Colombia grew by 2% year-on-year. Consolidated cement volumes decreased by 3%, while ready-mix and aggregates volumes increased by 6% and 3%, respectively. In Panama, operating EBITDA fell by 3% to US$33m during the quarter and net sales grew by 9% to US$79m. Cement, ready-mix and aggregates volumes increased by 4%, 10% and 21%, respectively, year-on-year. In Costa Rica, operating EBITDA grew by 5% year-on-year to US$20m and net sales increased by 15% to US$46m. Volumes for the three main products grew at double-digit rates during both the second quarter and the first half of 2015. In the rest of Cemex Latam Holdings' region, net sales during the quarter reached US$76m and operating EBITDA fell by 7% year-on-year to US$20m.
In the first six months of 2015, Cemex Latam Holdings'cement volumes declined by 11%, while ready-mix and aggregates volumes increased by 4% and 2%, respectively. Compared with the first quarter of 2015, cement, ready-mix and aggregates volumes increased by 11%, 8% and 6%, respectively.
"We are pleased with the continued positive volume performance of our operations in Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, where we are improving our volume guidance for the year. Additionally, our cement volumes in Colombia increased by 11% during the quarter compared with the first quarter of 2015," said Carlos Jacks, CEO of Cemex Latam Holdings.
"This year our priority is to continue working persistently towards improving our profitability, which has been affected by the depreciation of the Colombian Peso. Additionally, we continue to evolve as a company into a more customer-centric organisation, offering differentiated construction solutions to our specific customer segments."
Panama: According to Esmerk Latin American News, as part of its sustainability and environmental responsibility programme, Colombia's Cementos Argos, via its local subsidiary Argos Panama, has joined the 'Alianza por el Millon' (Alliance for a Million) project that seeks to reforest 10,000km2 of land in Panama over the next 20 years.
The project is promoted by local nature conservation agency, Asociacion Nacional para la Conservacion de la Naturaleza (Ancon) and is also supported by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), the Ministry of Farming Development (MIDA), the Commerce, Industry and Agriculture Chamber in Panama (CCIAP) and the association of reforesting companies in Panama, Anarap. Argos Panama has pledged to provide around US$100,000 to reforest some 100,000m2 of forest over the next five years. It is estimated that about 200km2/yr of forest is lost in Panama due to de-forestation.
US/Cuba: A lawsuit in Spain has revealed documents indicating that Holcim may have invested in a cement plant in Cuba despite warnings the deal might violate US law because the plant sits on land seized from US citizens. The deal took place in 2000, when Holcim was known as Holderbank, but allegedly the ownership went through a string of companies in Spain, the Netherlands and Panama, according to documents filed in a lawsuit reported upon by the Miami Herald.
"Holderbank's investment in the Cienfuegos property clearly would constitute 'trafficking' in confiscated property under Title IV of Helms-Burton," wrote US lawyers hired to advise Holcim. Holcim denies that it owns a business or a stake in a business in Cuba.
The court documents are part of a lawsuit involving three Spanish firms. Firebrick SA and Acedos Trading allege that Inversiones Ibersuizas owes them more than US$2m from an investment in Cuba in 2000. The documents suggest that Ibersuizas created a Spanish firm, Las Pailas de Cemento, in 2000 that paid US$70m to Cuba for 50% of the joint venture, Cementos Cienfuegos plant. Holcim allegedly controlled the project through a Panama company, Windward Overseas. The deal subsequently began to break down in 2004.
Since 2004, the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which enforces the US embargo on Cuba, has fined foreign companies more than US$1.25bn for violating US laws and regulations.
Panama: Mexican cement manufacturer Cemex is the sole cement supplier for Panama City's metro line 1.
Cemex will provide nearly 0.1Mt of cement for the construction of the line, which will run 13.6km from the San Miguelito neighbourhood in the north of the city to the Albrook bus terminal in the south, with 11 stations in total. Construction is being carried out by Spanish firm FCC and Brazil's Odebrecht at an estimated total cost of US$1.45bn.
Line 1 will be both above and below ground will and include tunnels, trenches and viaducts. It is expected to have an initial capacity to transport 15,000 people per hour in 2014, rising to 40,000 by 2035. The line will make Panama the first Central American country to have a metro system.