Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN), the largest diversified Brazilian steel group, plans to invest US$2bn over the next three years to expand its cement business in Latin America, its CEO said in an interview with Reuters.
"We will invest 10Mt, US$2000m," said company chief executive, Benjamin Steinbruch.
Last year CSN entered the cement market by opening a plant in Volta Redonda in Rio de Janeiro state, and from 2011 will start the new wave of investments.
"Brazil is going to be first, Brazil will be half and half will be split between Colombia (and) Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, one of the three. And there we Chile and Peru as well," added Mr Steinbruch.
In December, CSN failed in its attempt to buy the Portuguese cement Cimpor through a hostile takeover, with whom it sought a position in the global cement market.
In the first six months of the year, CSN sold 99 percent of the 377,000t produced and has plans to build three new cement plants in Brazil to increase production capacity to 5.4Mt by 2014.
"We are producing 150,000t per month and we will increase to 250,000t by the end of this year. We are building a clinker plant in Brazil, but that only starts from the first quarter of next year," he explained.
The company is betting to cover part of the insatiable appetite for cement and construction in Brazil with an increase in production by about 36 per cent this year, especially with the 2016 Olympic Games and World Cup 2014.