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Written by Global Cement staff
11 January 2017
Denmark: Piero Corpina has been appointed as the head of the Nordic & Baltic region of Aalborg Portland Holding and chief executive officer of Aalborg Portland and Unicon with effect from 2 January 2017. The Nordic & Baltic Region includes Aalborg Portland, Unicon with plants in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and subsidiaries in Poland, Russia, Iceland, the UK, France and the US. Corpina will be based at the group’s Nordic headquarters at Islands Brygge in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Corpina, aged 47 years, has 20 years of industry experience with LafargeHolcim covering senior line, staff and project roles and he worked on the merger between Lafarge and Holcim. In 2011 he was nominated the chief executive officer of Holcim Italy.
The Italian and Swiss national holds an MBA and PhD from Hochschule St Gallen in Switzerland and is an alumnus of Harvard Business School in Boston, USA and IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) struck a triumphant note this week as it announced that its industry has over 26Mt/yr of capacity upgrades in the pipeline. Its chairman Sayeed Saigol concluded in a press release that the country’s growth trend required ‘massive’ investment and that its producers were working on it.
Graph 1 – Local and export cement despatches in Pakistan, 2008 – 2016. Data source: APCMA.
Graph 1 shows how the local industry has changed since 2009. At this time exports hit a high of over 11Mt, constituting 34% of all cement despatches at the time. Since then though exports have fallen to below 6Mt or 14% of despatches, as local despatches have started to increase. Although local despatches have risen each year, the growth rate was below 1% in 2011. In 2016 it was over 14%.
Much has changed since 2010. At this time production capacity hit a high of 45Mt/yr in the 2009 – 2010 Pakistan financial year, according to APCMA data, but then utilisation sunk to below 73%, its lowest rate in over a decade. Pakistan’s cement producers sought a way out by exporting their cement. Export volumes subsequently exploded to a high of nearly 11Mt in 2008 – 2009 from next to nothing at the turn of the millennium.
The effects of this had particular repercussions in eastern and southern Africa as local producers suffered against seaborne imports. In 2012 the outgoing chief of South Africa’s PPC summarised the problem by saying that imports were not a threat to African expansion, provided that a cement plant was not built within 200km of a port. Rightly or wrongly cement from Pakistan was vilified by the African press and then legislated against. South Africa even implementing anti-dumping duties to howls of derision from Pakistan.
Funnily enough though the APCMA has recommended that Pakistan’s government do exactly the same thing against imports of cement from Iran. Industry scare stories about Iranian cement being sold illegally in Pakistan have circulated since at least 2012. Iran’s nuclear deal in 2015 must have worried the local industry, as the prize for Iran was the lifting of international sanctions making it easier for one of the world’s largest cement producers to start exporting its product. However, president-elect Trump’s disdain for the Iran deal may put those worries to rest if the deal is ‘cancelled’.
Back to the present, the Pakistan cement industry appears to be booming. One motor is the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor, a collection of infrastructure projects worth US$54bn. There is some disagreement at this point about how the usage levels of cement breakdown, with the chief executive of Thatta Cement placing it at 60% for infrastructure and 40% for housing but with other commentators placing it at 70% for housing and 30% for infrastructure. If the latter is true then Pakistan’s cement producers may receive an even bigger payday. The emphasis on housing shouldn’t be underestimated though as the country’s production capacity per capita, below 200kg/capita, is low by international standards. Either way, things are looking good for the local producers.
Written by Global Cement staff
10 January 2017
Georgia: Gebr Pfeiffer has received an order to supply a mill for HeidelbergCement Group’s Kaspi plant. The vertical roller mill will be used in a new 3000t/day kiln line at the site. The order was placed through the China’s Sinoma Chengdu in November 2016.
The type MPS 4000 B mill, equipped with a SLS 3750 B type classifier, has been designed for a capacity of 270t/hr of raw meal. The mill will be delivered with an enlarged housing to allow the raw material with a moisture of up to 10% to be dried almost exclusively with the available preheater gases.
Commissioning of the plant is scheduled for 2018.
Senegal: The government of Senegal has introduced a tax of US$4.84/t of cement with effect from 2 January 2017. The tariff will apply to cement from the country’s three cement plants run by Ciments du Sahel, Sococim and Dangote, according to the Quotidien newspaper. Vendors are expected to pass the cost onto consumers with higher prices.
Cement production rose by 10% year-on-year to 5.15Mt in the first 10 months of 2016 from 4.68Mt in the same period in 2015 at the Ciments du Sahel and Sococim plants, according to data from the Directorate of Forecasting and Economic Studies (DPEE), reported upon by the African Press Agency. The increase has been attributed to a 25% surge in exports, although local sales have also risen slightly.
Trinidad & Tobago: Cemex has increased its offer to buy a controlling stake in Trinidad Cement. The cement producer has instructed its subsidiary Sierra Trading to make a higher offer and take-over bid with a value of US$101m with a deadline of 24 January 2017. Previously, in early December 2016 it offered US$89m. The amended offer is dependent on Cemex acquiring control of Trinidad Cement, among other conditions. In late December 2016 the directors of Trinidad Cement advised shareholders to reject Cemex’s offer because it was seen as poor value.