Rock Products

OCT 2014

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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With an investment of $450 million, Argos will increase its installed capacity in Colombia by 24 percent –9.5 to 11.8 million tpy – through a new production line at its Sogamoso, Boyacá, plant. Confidence in Colombia's growth, proximity to Bogota and the majority of the in‐ frastructure plan projects, as well as access to abundant sources of raw materials and fuels, are some of the main elements that drove the company to initiate the project. "This investment reflects our confidence and commit‐ ment to the development of Colombia. Factors such as institutional and regulatory strengthening for infra‐ structure development; the important 4G projects for more than $25 billion, and greater resources for housing development, will drive the growth in cement con‐ sumption in the next few years, and as a Colombian company, we are committed to assisting the country in its development," said Jorge Mario Velásquez, Argos CEO. The construction of the new 2.3‐million‐tpy production line will make operations highly efficient, and the im‐ plementation of cutting‐edge technology will result in environmental benefits: up to 40 percent of fossil fuels could be replaced with alternative fuels. Compared to standard plants, this one will consume 24 percent less water and 18 percent less fuel, noted the company. It will emit 67 percent less particulate matter compared to the limits defined in national regulation. Moreover, the project's execution includes a social investment line in the area where it will be located, focusing on the com‐ munities' educational infrastructure. "The intensive infrastructure programs carried out in neighboring countries such as Panama, Peru and Ecuador, have propelled the simultaneous decrease in unemployment rates and upsurge in home construction, creating a virtuous cycle to improve people's quality of life, which we wish to see in Colombia," said Jorge Mario Velásquez. ROCK products • OCTOBER 2014 56 Argos to Expand Capacity in Colombia Elementia to Buy Lafarge Stake, Considers IPO Mexican construction conglomerate Elementia is considering a stock listing as it strengthens its cement business by buy‐ ing French partner Lafarge SA's minority stake in joint‐ven‐ ture Cementos Fortaleza, reported the Wall Street Journal. Elementia agreed to buy Lafarge's 47 percent stake in Ce‐ mentos Fortaleza for $225 million. The two companies combined their cement plants in central Mexico in Janu‐ ary 2013, giving Fortaleza three plants with production capacity of 2 million metric tons and about a 5 percent market share. Lafarge, which is in the process of merging with Holcim Ltd., said it will pay down debt with the money from the sale. Elementia CEO Eduardo Musalem said that the company is studying market conditions and will decide in early Oc‐ tober whether to go ahead with an initial public offering. The company has requested regulatory approval to sell shares on the Mexican stock exchange. Musalem said it was too early to say how big the share offer could be. CTLGroup Brings Consultant Onboard Hamlin Jennings, PhD, has joined CTLGroup as an affiliated consultant. In his new role, Dr. Jennings will consult on cement chemistry, cementitious composite microstructural charac‐ terization, concrete durability, and mechanisms of creep and shrinkage. Dr. Jennings' work includes forensic investigations, new product development and applying new technologies for characterizing cement and concrete behavior. In addition to his work with CTLGroup, Jennings is an ad‐ junct professor in the Department of Civil and Environmen‐ tal Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a principal investigator at the Concrete Sustain‐ ability Hub (CSHub) at MIT. "Professor Jennings has been a leader in cement and concrete research worldwide for over 30 years," said Senior Vice Pres‐ ident Tim Tonyan, PhD. "Combining Dr. Jennings' scientific and product develop‐ ment expertise with the technology transfer and applied science skills of CTL‐ Group will accelerate the industry's application of new tools for improving cement and concrete performance as well as condition assessment of existing structures." Hamlin Jennings

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