Investments in capacity expansion and new plants would reach BRL$15bn until 2016 and add 44Mt of cement, 70 per cent of the current installed capacity. The construction boom is leading to imports of 1Mt of cement in 2010 as demand grew 15 per cent from Jan - Sept and is to end the year with 58Mt.
Conservative estimates point the market to stabilise at 70Mt, optimistic estimates point to 80Mt nearing a 420kg per capita consumption by 2015, compared with 272kg in 2008.
Walter Schalka, president Votorantim Cimentos, says demand is triggered by residential, commercial and industrial construction, but also the infrastructure program. Votorantim is investing BRL$5bn in its plants, and seeks to tap regional variations. The company is to increase capacity from 25-42Mta from 35 plants.
Votorantim and Camargo Correa, for instance, are picking locations in South of Para state to erect plants that would supply the large hydroelectric utilities to be erected in the Amazon region. Humberto Junqueira de Farias, president Camargo Correa Cimentos, says the company plans investments of BRL$3,6bn to 2016 expanding its capacity by 75 per cent to 14Mta and win no less than 15 per cent of the national market.
In 2009 Camargo sold 5.1Mt and grabbed 10 per cent of the market, led by Votorantim with 40 per cent of it followed by Joao Santos with a 11 per cent share, Cimpor nine per cent, Holcim seven per cent and Lafarge seven per cent. There are newcomers in the market, such as the steel major CSN, that started up a cement unit at Volta Redonda (Rio de Janeiro) with capacity for 1.4Mta and has plans to reach 3.6Mta by 2012.