Bulgarian lines halt production

Bulgarian lines halt production
Published: 24 June 2009

Italy’s Italcementi will temporarily shut down cement production in its two Bulgarian plants in August as the global downturn hits demand, its Bulgarian unit said.

The company said it will shut down all kilns at Devnya Cement and Vulkan Cement for a month and plans to reduce its staff of 500 people to cut costs and streamline operations.

"These moves follow the long-term impact of the economic crisis and are aimed at optimising the costs and inventory," Italcementi Group Bulgaria said in a statement.

Italcementi, which had also halted production temporarily in March, said cement demand in Bulgaria had plunged as the real estate and construction boom came to an end, and exports via the Black Sea were brought to a standstill.

It said competition from imported cement arriving from Turkey was another reason for the decision to reduce production.

Italcementi acquired Devnya Cement, near the Black Sea port of Varna, in 1998. The plant has an annual production capacity of about 2Mt In 1999, Italcementi also bought Vulkan Cement in the southern town of Dimitrovgard, which produces about 500,000tpa.