HeidelbergCement is taking a majority stake in a new venture being formed in Russia with local investor Wolga-Deutsche Business Group NCP. The joint venture will take control of an existing cement works on the Volga at Volsk that was known as Kommunar in Soviet days. The Volks works is located some 150km to south-west of Saratov and around 1000 to the southwest of Moscow and has a current annual cement capacity of 0.21Mt. A new cement works is to be built in Volsk by the joint venture for completion by the end of 2008. This new works will have an annual capacity of 2Mt and will be able to take advantage the ability to use water-borne transport along the Volga river system, but the region also has a growing local population of around 2.7m inhabitants.
This is the second region of Russia that HeidelbergCement enters, following the initial investment to the west of St Petersburg in 2001 that falls within the group’s Northern European division, and follows recent investments in neighbouring Ukraine, Georgia and Kazakhstan.