Lafarge has spotted the opportunities to expand its operations in Brazil that have become key for the expansion in Latin America, in the words of president Thierry Metro. Cement industry is in its peak days, with consumption growing 15% annually, and Lafarge is repositioning its operations after divesting 17,2% on Cimpor, sold to Votorantim.
Thierry said Lafarge was the largest cement investor in Brazil during 2010, with Euro$750mil, and further investments are to follow. As part of the divestiture in Cimpor Lafarge was passed from Votorantim three cement plans in Paraiba, Bahia and Goias states, in addition to secure access to scrap iron from CSA that would allow it expanding by 40% the plant at Cantagalo (Rio de Janeiro). It gained a more balance coverage, until now limited to the Southeast region. Thierry Metro says Lafarge wants to rate 2nd in the Brazilian market before 2015, surpassing Joao Santos group that has a 11% share.
Votorantim Cimentos leads with 40% of it and is investing R$5bn in capacity expansion. Lafarge should sell 4Mt in 2010 and for 2011 plans 7Mt of cement.