Whilst the group awaits the Comision Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia of Argentina’s decision over the purchase of cement firm Loma Negra for US$1.025bn, Brazilian construction group Camargo Correa announced to Argentina’s president that it will invest US$100m in the first three years in production and transport should it be allowed to acquire Loma Negra. Nestor Kirchner met with Camargo Correa president Luis Roberto Ortiz Nascimento in Brasilia.
The investment would include money for the strengthening of the railway Ferrosur (a concession operated by Loma Negra), especially around Neuquen; the strengthening of the port of Bahia Blanca, so as to facilitate exports of cement to, above all, Africa; and the increasing of capacity at the plant in Olavarria. Argentina’s Ministro de Planificacion, Julio De Vido says that other projects involving Camargo Correa are being analysed, including that of the Garabi dam to be built on the River Uruguay, between Argentina and Brasil.
Camargo Correa will become one of the largest cement groups in Latin America if the sale of Loma Negra’s holding company Holdtotal is authorised. It has 14 cement plants and produces almost 6 Mta; it also has six concrete factories that together can produce 550,000m3. Loma Negra, meanwhile, dominates 48 per cent of the cement market in Argentina.