Lafarge, Brazil’s fourth largest cement maker, is planning to implement measures for reduction of its electricity costs in Brazil. The company mulls using the local liberalised power market to restructure the power supply to its units in two of the three Brazilian states where it operates. Electricity accounts for 18 per cent of the productions costs in the cement sector.
In Brazil, Lafarge has five production sites, three in the southern state of Minas Gerais, another in the neighbouring state of Rio de Janeiro and one in Sao Paulo, in southern Brazil as well. The Sao Paulo unit consumes just 5.0 per cent of the energy used by the company in Brazil and has been supplied by the local distributor Eletropaulo for a long time now. Lafarge, however, switched its suppliers in Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais in 2004. Lafarge is also considering to introduce co-processing to reduce its electricity costs in Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo and plans all of the company units to switch to the technology by 2007.
Lafarge, which presently has a 7.2 per cent market share in Brazil, hopes to increase its production to 2.6Mt in 2005 from 2.29Mt in 2004. The company’s capacity in the country stands at 4.9Mt.