Paraguay’s state cement company Industria Nacional del Cemento (INC) plans to invest US$15m next year to optimize and increase production, local paper La Nación quoted INC president Amílcar Troche as saying.
More ambitious plans call for the construction of a new 1.2Mt clinker production line that would cost US$80mn and assure cement production for 20 years, said Troche, adding however that the lack of public works "dynamism" has stalled sales.
Regarding dumping charges filed by the INC with the industry and commerce ministry against Brazilian cement producer Yguazú, he said the ministry is expected to make an announcement this month.
Earlier this year, local paper ABC Color quoted INC technical advisor Jorge Bóveda as saying that the INC lost some US$60mn in sales from cement products dumped on its market by Brazilian producers over the last nine years.
Troche added that cement is being shipped to Brazil and Argentina, but that the amounts are still small, principally due to high duties.
In related news, the state company plans to submit the design to pave the Concepción-Vallemi 180km highway to the public works and communications ministry in December. Construction could begin as early as May.
The INC, which is coordinating the studies, has pledged to supply 150,000t of cement for the project. Currently all paving in the country is done with asphalt, according to the report.
The INC is the country’s sole cement producer and has installed capacity of some 675,000tpa.
It posted a 3.4bn-guarani loss (US$572,000) in the first half, compared to a 16.9bn-guarani loss in 1H03. For the period, sales revenue jumped 32% to 91.8bn guaraniés, with cement production up 480% to 267,000 bags and clinker production up 10.8% to 249,343t.