Uruguay’s state-owned oil company Ancap is analysing several options for association with private companies, including Argentina’s largest cement maker Loma Negra, in order to improve the management of Ancap’s cement division, the company’s director German Riet said on April 10, 2006.
Ancap’s cement division has just registered an annual loss of US$3.0m.The two plants of Ancap are technologically obsolete, Riet added. One of the options for the company is to renegotiate the association with Loma Negra, controlled by Brazilian construction materials group Camargo Correa.
Ancap and Loma Negra established several years ago a joint company Cementos de la Plata, which was selling cement, produced by Ancap in Uruguay and in other countries.
Ancap is currently analysing the possibility to associate with another large buyer on the cement market, and to seek cooperation with Uruguayan cement maker Compania Uruguaya de Cementos Portland, the main competitor of Ancap.
Ancap plans to invest also US$12m in technology upgrade in its plants in the cities of Minas and Paysandu.
The share of Cementos de la Plata in the Uruguayan cement market has fallen to 49 per cent from 52 per cent previously, according to Monica Castro, president of the Ancap trade union.