Cement heavyweights set to invest about 1 billion euros

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Having entered the domestic market by acquiring plants built before 1989, the world’s main cement producers are carrying out the first greenfield projects, after being “forced” by rising consumption and by reaching full production capacities at current plants, Ziarul financiar daily reads on September 22.
 
Two of the industry’s heavyweights, HeidelbergCement and Holcim, have talked about investing in production capacities built from scratch for the first time this month, with the projects due to reach a cumulated value worth around 800 million euros. These investment projects come after the two producers have spent 950 million euros domestically so far.
 
However, the surprise came from Austria’s Strabag group, with 10 billion-euro annual turnover, which, in a few months will conclude talks with local authorities to start an investment of around 220 million euros in the construction of a cement plant domestically.
 
“According to its strategy, Strabag aims to hold its own raw material resources to be independent from other entities and develop a project from scratch. Romania is a very interesting market for us, and cement demand is steadily rising. We’re already building a plant in Hungary and the next step is for us to develop a similar facility in Romania,” stated Christian Ebner, head of the communication department of Strabag group.
 
The Austrian firm’s arrival is likely to change the plans of domestic players, which will have to rethink their investment budgets for the coming years. Cement consumption has registered an unexpected surge in the past 2 years, to 480-500 kg per capita, which could rapidly absorb a new roduction facility.
 
Germany’s HeidelbergCement group will most likely start building a new cement plant next year, in which it could invest around 300-330 million euros. Holcim last week announced it could invest between 400 and 500 million euros in a production facility in Cluj County, meant to be the biggest such facility in Europe.
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