HeidelbergCement officially inaugurated a new 0.8Mta cement ball mill at its plant in the seaport Chittagong, Bangladesh. The investment costs amount to approximately US$16m and aims to further serve the promising domestic market. Test runs of the new mill have already been conducted successfully at the end of 2011 and production started in the first week of January.
"We are very pleased that we are able to officially inaugurate our state-of-the-art cement mill today," says Dr Bernd Scheifele, Chairman of the Managing Board. "Bangladesh is an interesting market for HeidelbergCement. We expect the need for high quality cement to increase significantly in the coming years, especially due to new government infrastructure projects. With the new mill we are very well prepared for this demand growth. The investment in Bangladesh is part of our long-term strategy to expand our cement capacities in attractive emerging markets by brownfield or greenfield projects.”
The IMF forecasts a GDP growth of 6.1 per cent for Bangladesh in 2012. Bangladesh has one of the lowest per capita cement consumption ratios in the world, but it is also one of the fastest growing markets worldwide.
With its economy growing at a steady pace and hosuing and infrastructure offering plenty of construction potential, Bangladeshi producers are anticipating a construction boom and are expanding their production facilities accordingly. Domestic cement consumption registered an annual growth rate of 22 per cent over the 2008-10 period, reaching 13.93Mt in 2010. Demand is forecast to rise to 16Mt in 2011 and then to 18.5Mt by 2012. Mostofa Kamal, president of the Cement Manufacturers Association of Bangladesh recently said that he expects consumption to growth "by at least 15 per cent in the next several years on rising demand for infrastructure projects."
HeidelbergCement has been active in Bangladesh since 1998 and is one of the largest German investors in the country. The Group operates cement grinding plants in the two most important markets of the country, one in the capital city of Dhaka and the other in the second largest city Chittagong with 4 million inhabitants.