Russian Far East’s largest cement producer SpasskCement plans to build up production to 1.2Mt by 2007. "According to forecasts for the national construction sector, annual demand for cement may grow to 45-46Mt. Cement plants in the western part of Russia work at full load, and there are projects to put into operation new facilities. This growth will soon affect the Far East as well," predicts Igor Pushkarev, board chairman of management company "Park Group."
Primorsky Krai, in particular, is expected to face a boom in the construction of inexpensive housing and new industrial facilities. To a great extent, this trend will affect Vladivostok, where very little housing development was done in recent years and the housing market was hit by a crisis when prices for second-hand apartments reached same level as in Moscow.
VostokCement holding established in 2002 accounts for about 75 per cent of cement production in the Far Eastern Federal District. Another 21 per cent is produced by YakutCement with output fully digested by the local market in Yakutia. VostokCement includes SpasskCement (two cement plants - Spassky and Novospassky), Teploozersky Cement Plant, Vladivostok Crushed Stone Plant, DV-Cement and Vostok construction company.
SpasskCement’s maximum annual output of 3,685,000t was produced in 1988 and the lowest output of 280,000t was registered in 1997. The situation stabilized when the new management team led by Igor Pushkarev, one of co-founders of Park Group, came to the company. Output rose to 465,000t of cement in 2002, to 572,000t in 2004 and is expected at 740,000t in 1997. SpasskCement intends to reach out of the Far Eastern Federal District and increase its segment in the cement market of East Siberia from 3 per cent to 15 per cent already in 2004. At present, about 42 per cent of this marker is supplied by Angarsky Cement Plant.
There are long-term projects that will consume much cement in the Far East as well. SpasskCement plans to supply about 4.2Mt of cement for Sakhalin oil and gas projects, up to 2Mt for construction of Chita - Khabarovsk highway, about 1Mt to Nizhnebureiskaya hydropower plant and 1.9Mt for construction of an oil pipeline from East Siberia to the Pacific coast. Another 100,000t will be required annually for the programme of concrete-paved roads in Primorsky Krai.
The company expanded its product range in recent years. In particular, it started producing well cement meeting requirements of the American standard API Spes 10A to G and H cement grades of high and moderate sulfate resistance. SpasskCement introduced an international quality management system in January 2001 and was given the right for using the API mark. SpasskCement intends to launch production of new products in 2004 - Portland blast furnace cement, cement according to British standards, road cement of 550 and PTsG I-400 grades and PTsG II-400 for coastal construction.
In parallel with expanding its product range, SpasskCement revamps its capacity. In particular, Spassky plant commissioned laboratory equipment for cement testing under TN, ASTM and API standards. VostokCement will invest about US$7-8m into modernization of Novospassky plant this year which will reduce cement dust emission by 40 per cent minimum.