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Vietnam: According to figures released by the government's General Statistics Office, cement producers in Vietnam are estimated to have made 18.7Mt of cement in the first four months of 2011, a year-on-year increase of 11.5%. In April 2011 the country's cement output was estimated at 5.5Mt, up by 12.1% on the year.
Written by Global Cement staff
26 June 2011
Slovakia: The Antitrust Office has cleared the takeover of Vychodoslovenske Stavebne Hmoty (VSH) by Holcim Slovensko provided that Holcim sells its terminal in Vlkanova in Banska Bystrica County to an independent buyer linked neither to the companies nor to their groups. The watchdog conditioned the transaction in this way because it posed threats to the economic competition on the relevant market specialised in production and sale of grey cement and several local ready-mixed concrete markets.
Holcim, therefore, has proposed to sell the terminal. The regulator maintains that the new owner must be experienced and capable of preserving and developing the existing business and it must be able to expose Holcim to efficient competition after it takes over VSH. The decision on a suitable owner will be made by the watchdog. The terminal supplies cement made in the plant in Rohoznik to customers in the entire county.
Written by Global Cement staff
25 June 2011
North Korea: North Korea and China have held a ceremony to repair a key logistics road along their shared border, the latest sign of boosting economic cooperation between the two neighbours, which included a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of a new cement factory to be built in Rajin-Sonbong Economic Special Zone.
Some 200 officials from the two countries, including Jang Song-thaek, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's brother-in-law and Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming, watched the ceremony in Rason.
Russia: Dmitry Lisenkov, Managing Director of Rusnano and Alex de Valukhoff, General Director of Lafarge in Russia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum 2011. The MoU signifies the intention of the two parties to begin working together towards the development of innovative and sustainable construction materials designed to provide more value for customers across Russia.
"We are delighted to sign a strategic agreement with Rusnano," said de Valukhoff. "It illustrates our mutual will to collaborate with the aim to introduce joint plants producing high performance mineral additives and fillers. Fostering innovation in sustainable development projects and industry modernisation are amongst our company's key priorities."
"The modern construction industry faces a significant number of challenges, the first of which are energy efficiency, materials durability and environment safety," said Lisenkov. "Therefore innovation in technology for the construction materials production has transformed traditional materials such as cement, concrete and gypsum into more technological and functional ones. In this field, nanotechnology development enables to reach new levels of qualities. Taking into consideration Lafarge's global scientific and research expertise, we see a great prospects in the collaboration with Lafarge in the area of high technology materials production in Russia."
South Africa: AfriSam has announced that, notwithstanding the weak state of South Africa's construction industry, it is resuming its plans for a USD 320.4m integrated cement plant in the Saldanha Bay area to meet future demand.
The country's cement industry is reeling from four years of consecutive declines and has been hit hard by the lull that has followed the completion of large projects related to the 2010 Football World Cup. A seriously depressed housing market started its slide in late 2007 and was further battered by the effects of the global economic downturn.
Despite all of these problems, AfriSam said that it wanted to take advantage of its large limestone deposit near Saldanha and improve market penetration in the Western Cape. With continued population growth and the need for housing and infrastructure, there are indications that the local market will benefit from the presence of an additional cement supplier, according to company CEO Stephan Olivier.
AfriSam says that the proposed Saldanha project will commence with the expansion of its nearby limestone quarry and construction of a cement grinding and packing plant at a cost of about USD 87.4m. Ultimately, an integrated plant will be built alongside at a further cost of about USD 233m.
AfriSam also says the proximity of Saldanha's deep water port will facilitate exports, which will enable the plant to be scaled-up to achieve improved environmental and production efficiency. "We are seeking approval (to build the plant) by means of an environmental impact assessment," said Olivier.
Other cement producers are reportedly bemused by the news, especially because AfriSam intends to construct its new plant in a province that has seen building and construction demand fall by 50% since mid-2007. Anton Weavind, CEO of Conticem said "I know that AfriSam needs to expand but the worst place they could possible do this is in the Western Cape. There is not much money in exporting cement."