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TimePosted 17/09/2018 09:19:53

New owners for El Minya Cement

This week CemNet reported that Helwan Cement's 1Mta white cement plant in Egypt's Minya governate is being sold to Emaar Industries Co of UAE, subject to regulatory approval. The transaction will take place following the demerger of the plant from Helwan Cement, which also operates 4.1.Mta of grey cement capacity. Entered into production in 1991, the plant produces two types of white cement – CEM I 52.5 and CEM II B-L 42.5N.

Dubai-based Emaar Industries & Investments will be new to the Egyptian cement market, but its business portfolio already includes companies from the building material sector in the UAE.

HeidelbergCement releasing non-core assets
Helwan Cement is a subsidiary of Suez Cement, owned by HeidelbergCement. The Germany-based cement group has been divesting non-core assets of late and while the company remains a strong force in the white cement sector, there are indications that the segment is no longer seen as a core activity by the group. Earlier this year, it relinquished its 51 per cent share in Lehigh Cement Co LLC in the USA, which was sold to the minority shareholders of Aalborg Cement Co Inland Cemex Inc. Lehigh Cement Co operates plants in Waco and York with a total white cement capacity of 0.255Mta.

The divestment of the Minya white cement plant is another step in this divestment programme. Suez Cement's Chief Executive Officer, Jose Maria Magrina, said, "We are delighted to have signed the SPA on the sale of the white cement plant in El Minya which is in line with the company and HeidelbergCement’s strategy to focus on its core operations, grey cement production and divest non-core operations yielding attractive returns to our shareholders."

Following the divestment Suez Cement will still operate cement plants at Katameya, Suez, Tourah and Helwan in Egypt. In 1H18 the Egyptian subsidiary reported profits of EGP250.59m (US$14m), compared to a loss of EGP40.61m in 1H17.

White cement investments
Egypt is well supplied with white cement producers as Royal Cement and Misr Cement Qena have invested in El Minya facilities while Sinai White’s plant, owned by Cementir’s Aalborg Portland, is located at Al Arish, north Sinai. These investments are supported by positive developments in domestic white cement prices. White cement prices in the country increased by 18 per cent in 1H18 when compared with the year-ago period, according to Cementir.

Elsewhere, Al-Baha Cement has announced it plans a 6000tpd cement plant to produce sulphate-resistant cement in Saudi Arabia with the potential to manufacture white and grey cement. In addition, Cuba will also see a modernisation of its Siguaney works, which has white and grey cement capacity. Furthermore, CemNet’s Plant Directory shows that additional plants under construction are the 0.2Mta Cooperativa La Cruz Azul’s Hidalgo unit in Mexico, and the 0.5Mta white cement works in Brady (TX), USA, an investment by Royal White Cement subsidiary’s US Cement Ltd.

The USA also saw Cimsa Americas Cement Manufacturing and Sales Corp (CACMSC) launch its new Super White cement product in January 2018, as part of company's 'The Name of the Formula' brands. CACMSC is constructing a plant in Houston for the manufacture of this white cement with an FLSmidth UMS™ ball mill, high-efficiency O-Sepa® separator and product transport system.

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