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Holcim Azerbaijan encourages competition in the market

World Cement,

A few news items from Azerbaijan today. First, that Holcim Azerbaijan is encouraging new entrants to the cement market to increase competition. Holcim’s director for sales, marketing and logistics Carlos Terres, has been quoted as saying “we don’t intend to fight for keeping or increasing our market share, and we will focus our basic activities on the growth and quality of services, projects aimed at protecting the environment and social projects”. He said that the company intends to increase its production capacity to keep up with improving demand, but has no plans to export cement.

In the second, and related piece of news, the OJSC Building-Industrial Investment Corporation Akkord is set to expand production of cement to 3 million tpa from the current 1 – 1.2 million tpa. “We, as Accord, want to bring the production up to such a level to sell clinker and cement not only in Azerbaijan, but also in the neighbouring countries, together with all players in the cement production market,” said Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors. He said the expansion is planned for 2016 when the company estimates demand in Azerbaijan will rise to 5.5 – 6 million t. He added that financing for the expansion project has not yet been defined.

Finally, Norm Cement, the largest cement plant in the South Caucasus region is set to be running at its full capacity of 2 million tpa of cement in 2014. The plant is currently importing clinker and plans to produce between 50 000 and 60 000 t of cement by the end of the year, but will begin clinker production in January 2014. Retail sales of cement are due to begin shortly. The plant has taken an investment of around US$400 million, making it one of the largest projects in Azerbaijan outside of the oil sector.

Edited from various sources by Katherine Guenioui

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