Brazilian cement producer Camargo Correa is investing US$100m over the next three years in Argentina to boost production capacity and expand a cargo railway line, the company’s newly acquired Argentine holding said Wednesday. The Argentine government said Tuesday it has approved Camargo Correa’s $1.025bn purchase of Holdtotal SA, a local company whose main asset is the country’s biggest cement producer, Loma Negra. Holdtotal also runs the Ferrosur Roca cargo railway network.
Loma Negra announced the investment plan in a Wednesday filing to the Argentine stock exchange. Juliano de Oliveira, Loma Negra’s general director, said the three-year program aims to "consolidate the company’s leadership in Argentina" and "explore opportunities in other markets." According to company data, Loma Negra’s annual production capacity is 7.5Mt of cement and 700,000 cubic meters of reinforced concrete.
Production of Portland cement in Argentina rose 25 per cent in September compared to the same month last year as a result of greater activity in the construction industry, newspaper La Nació reported. Deliveries of cement during the month, including exports, reached 732,370t, which was a 7.2 per cent increase compared to August. Internal sales, including imports, reached 721,488t, up 7.1 per cent compared to August and 25.5 per cent compared to September 2004. The sales are said to be a reflection of the expansion of the construction industry, which grew 10.7 per cent in the first eight months of this year compared to the same period of last year.