Holcim set to become largest cement producer

Autor: Catalin Lupoaie 02.07.2008
Holcim Romania, the local subsidiary of Swiss group Holcim, targets a production capacity of around 6.4 million tonnes of cement by yearend, up 30% on last year, after the company modernised its plant in Campulung, Arges county, under an investment worth 120 million euros.
In comparison, Lafarge (France) has an annual capacity of 5.5 million tonnes (whilst actual production is somewhat lower), and Heidelberg Cement (Germany) produces around 3.5 million tonnes each year.
In Campulung, Holcim has constructed the largest kiln in Eastern Europe, which produces around 2 million tonnes of cement each year, and also one of the tallest industrial buildings in Romania, a pre-heater tower that stands at 135 metres.
"The modernisation of the cement plant in Campulung marks the final stage of renovations that were launched a few years ago at the Alesd plant," said Markus Wirth, Country Manager of Holcim Romania.
The modernisation process began at the end of 2005, and will entail another 75 million-euro investment, which will start this year and end in 2009. The new investment will be directed towards the clinker grinding lines, transportation to silos and expansion of bulk cement loading points.
The plant in Campulung is the closest such plant to Bucharest, and will give Holcim an edge over its main competitors, Lafarge Ciment, Lafarge's Romanian subsidiary, and Carpatcement Holding, Heidelberg Cement's subsidiary.
This year, Holcim Romania has budgeted investments worth 135 million euros to modernise production facilities, build new plants and expand its car fleet.
The company has three cement plants in Turda, Campulung and Alesd, 16 environmentally-friendly concrete plants and five aggregate plants, and employs around 1,400 people.
According to announcements made at the beginning of the year, Holcim intends to expand its production capacity in Romania by 1.5 million tonnes this year and by 600,000 tonnes in 2009. The new line in Campulung will reach full capacity about six months after it becomes functional.