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Growing Towards a Sustainable Future – Part 1

World Cement,

Potential development in the Dominican Republic, mainly driven by a growing housing and infrastructure deficit, has motivated new and significant investments within the cement industry.

For the country’s cement sector, the concept of continuous growth is inseparable from the industry’s contribution to the creation of a sustainable society. Even though there are many challenges in this regard, none have so far undermined the belief that sustainability is fundamental to the viability of the sector, both now and in the future.

Installed capacity

The Domincan Republic’s cement industry began a little more than six decades ago, and the level of development that it has experienced since then has been surprising. At present, seven cement manufacturers operate in several areas of the country. This includes Cemex, Domicem and Cementos Cibao, which produce clinker, and Argos Dominicana, Cementos Andino, Cementos Santo Domingo and, more recently, Cementos Panam, all four of which operate grinding plants.

This unusual situation, given the size of the island, has resulted in the country having the largest cement production capacity per capita in the entire American continent, above large producers such as Mexico, Brazil and Colombia. The Dominican Cement Producers Association (ADOCEM) believes that, at this time, the level of overcapacity in the Dominican Republic (around 50%) cannot be found elsewhere in Latin America.

In order to understand this peculiarity better, it should be noted that over the last 30 years cement production capacity in the country has grown at an average annual rate of 6%, and has accelerated in the last decade. Installed capacity has increased from 866 000 tpa in 1978 to approximately 7 million tpa today. In other words, the Dominican Republic is capable of producing almost nine times the volume of cement that it could 30 years ago, and it now has the capacity to meet local market growth over the coming decades.

The investment of companies within the sector totals around US$1.2 billion, excluding additional amounts invested on a yearly basis to maintain production and efficiency levels.

This growth is further sustained by the cement industry’s investment in people. It generates employment for around 10 000 people, both directly and indirectly, and it continues to focus on the welfare and continuous progress of its staff.

Products and marketing

Portland cement distributed in bagged form (bags of 42.5 kg) represents 23% of sales in the country, and bulk cement accounts for the remaining 77%.

Bagged cement is mostly sold through the hardware channel, while bulk cement is mainly sold through the industrial channel, which consists of pre-mixed concrete trading companies and products derived from cement.

Quality certifications for the products are granted by the Dominican Quality Institute, which validates the results of quality control in manufacturing and certifies compliance with the applicable regulations, thereby guaranteeing quality to the end-user.

Cement manufacturers in the country are also involved in the sale of concrete, aggregates and mortar cement products.

Read Part 2 of this article here.

Written by Julissa Baez, Executive Director, Dominican Cement Producers Association, Dominican Republic. This is an abridged version of the full article, which appeared in the August 2014 issue of World Cement. Subscribers can view the full article by logging in.

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