Cemex plans to invest US$160m in the construction of a new cement plant in Latvia to prevent cement deficit on the Latvian market of construction materials, reported the Latvian business daily Dienas Bizness.
Luis Miguel Cantu, board chairman of Cemex subsidiary in Latvia, which is the only cement producer in this Baltic state, told the newspaper that the new plant to be built in Broceni, western Latvia, by 2009 would produce 1.15Mt of clinker and 1.588Mt of cement annually.
When the new plant is put into operation, Cemex intends to start also cement exports from Latvia. At present all the cement made at the existing plant in Broceni is sold on the domestic market.
Cemex also said it plans to build a cement terminal in one of Latvian ports, investing US$5.2m.
CEMEX spokeswoman Linda Vitola said that the company plans to build the terminal for importing cement from other countries and ensuring Latvia with the necessary amounts of cement by the time the company finishes construction of the new cement plant in Broceni, western Latvia, which will allow to increase the capacity significantly. In the future the terminal can then be used for exporting cement.
Vitola said that the new terminal might be located in Riga, Liepaja or Ventspils. "By now the ports have submitted their proposals and the company is evaluating them," she said.
This year Cemex plans to produce 400,000t of cement products in Latvia. "There will be cement also in the second half of the year," Cantu said. The prices would depend on the market situation and refused to predict the likely growth of cement prices.
Even though CEMEX would like to strengthen its positions in the Baltic states, the concern`s plans do not extend to Estonia for now, wrote Dienas Bizness. CEMEX president in the Polish and Baltic region, Ruediger Kuhn, said that "investments in Latvia are large enough for us to focus only on it." He added that Cemex did not plan to invest in the Lithuanian cement producer Akmenes Cementas because Cemex had failed to increase its influence in that company.
Initially Cemex planned to invest US$50m in upgrading of the existing Latvian cement plant in Broceni but later announced the change of plans and said it would build an entirely new plant.