Lafarge plans to invest US$12 million in its Ecuadorean unit Cementos Selva Alegre over the next three years, the chief financial officer of the Andean unit said Monday. The investment of around four million dollars per year will maintain the infrastructure, Alejandro Torres, said in a press conference. Additionally the company has tentative plans to raise the plant’s production capacity to 1.0Mta from the current 667,000tpa, starting 2008.
In a second stage, between 2010 and 2012, the plant’s production capacity could rise to 1.3Mta, depending of the market and demand.
Late 2004, Lafarge paid US$130m for Ecuador’s second-largest cement maker, Cementos Selva Alegre, which has around 18 per cent share of the country’s cement market, after Holcim, which has a market share of about 63 per cent.
Torres said the market for cement in Ecuador has "big development potential," based on growing demand, particularly in the construction sector. Dollarization of the Andean’s economy also helps promote stability, he noted.
According to Selva Alegre data, cement consumption in Ecuador in 2004 rose around 7.5 per cent to 3.6Mt. Last year, Selva Alegre’s sales totaled more $60m.