Through Ciments Français, Italcementi has acquired 100% of the shares in Fuping Cement from the Chinese group Zhejiany Guangyu for around US$70m. This marks the first entry of Italcementi into the Chinese cement market and the group has indicated its intention to build up a meaningful presence there.
Fuping Cement has a single cement plant in the Shaanxi province of central China with a 1Mta integrated cement works that went into production in June of last year. Approvals have already been secured for a doubling of capacity to 1.7Mt of clinker and 2Mt of cement.
Regional cement consumption is currently below the Chinese average, but a number of sizeable infrastructure projects have now received government approval, suggesting that work is likely to start shortly on the second production line.
The move by Italcementi means that Cemex is now the only one of the top five global cement producers without a presence in the world’s largest cement market.