Cia. Siderurgica Nacional (CSN) Brazil’s largest diversified steel group, will probably increase cement output by 36 percent through the end of 2010, reaching full capacity to feed the country’s insatiable appetite for building materials ahead of hosting the World Cup and Olympics, its CEO said Monday.
"There’s not enough cement in Brazil, The country is importing cement," Chief Executive Benjamin Steinbruch told reporters at an event in Sao Paulo.
Brazil is due to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. The government is also investing more than $440 billion in infrastructure through the next four years.
Monthly production will likely hit 150,000t by the end of the year, from about 110,000t now, Steinbruch said. In the first six months, the company, known as CSN, sold 99 per cent of its output of 377,000t, he said.
Steinbruch is pushing CSN to expand from mainly steelmaking into building materials, logistics, mining and related areas.
CSN has unsuccessfully tried to buy foreign rivals, the most recent being an attempt this year to acquire Portuguese cement producer Cimpor. CSN lost out to Brazilian rivals Votorantim Cimentos and Camargo Correa.
Steinbruch did not say if the company was eyeing any other targets in the cement industry.
The company’s common shares fell 0.5 per cent to 27.11 reais Monday. The shares are flat for the year.
CSN entered the cement business last year by opening its own plant in Rio de Janeiro state.
CSN has plans to build three more cement plants in Brazil to increase annual output capacity to about 5.4Mt by 2014.