Votorantim to build lime units at cement plants

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Brazil: Votorantim plans to spend US$50m towards building new plants and adapting its existing cement plants to produce agricultural lime in addition to cement. The cement producer intends to double its market share to 16% by 2021, according to the Valor Econômico newspaper. The focus on the lime business follows a contraction in the construction industry and the growth of agribusiness.

"With the expansion of the agricultural frontier, demand will grow, especially in the Cerrado savannah, where soil need more correction. Experience shows that agricultural lime also helps in the crop productivity," said Laercio Solla, general manager for agriculture at Votorantim.

The company plans to open new quarries and build additional lime units at its existing cement plants. The focus at first will be on the region of Matopiba, which includes Tocantins and parts of Maranhão, Piauí and Bahia. Votorantim will build lime units attached to the cement plants at Nobres in Mato Grosso, Xambioa in Tocantins, Primavera in Pará and Idealiza in Goiás. The lime part of Votorantim’s business will receive most of its minerals from the cement division but also some from Votorantim Metals, the group’s mining division. It will also build two new 0.5Mt/yr lime quarries in Pará and in the Matopiba region.

Lime represents a small part of the company’s business. In 2015 it produced less than 2Mt of agricultural lime compared to 65.8Mt of cement, mortar and aggregates. Agricultural lime production is also expected to be less susceptible to foreign currency exchange rates as its market its mostly domestic.

Last modified on 12 April 2017

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