Largest cement plant in South Caucasus reaches its designed capacity (PHOTO)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26
By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:
The largest cement plant of the South Caucasus - "Norm Sement" reached its design capacity, Azerbaijani Norm company CEO Hasan Yalcinkaya told Trend.
He said that 2014 was successful for the company and the cement industry of the country as a whole.
"We managed to successfully complete our projects," he said. "The cement plant was inaugurated by His Excellency President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on July 21, 2014. Since that time the plant has been working very efficiently. The plant also started to produce its own clinker. We have reached our design capacity. So, I can say that 2014 has been successful. 510,000 tons of cement was produced, while clinker production was at the level of 471,000 tons in 2014. We were able to cover about 20 percent of the market for just six months since the beginning of clinker production."
He expressed confidence that this tendency will continue in 2015.
"We plan to increase our market share with help of production of high-quality cement and rendering high quality services to our clients in the consumer market," the director said.
Yalcinkaya further noted that last year the country's domestic demand for cement stood at around 4.3 million tons and this year the demand will be at least on the same level.
"Currently, about 60 percent of the market is provided by local producers," said Yalcinkaya. "About 40 percent of cement is imported from neighboring countries."
He said that in fact, the local production facilities are fully capable to meet the market requirements. "Our goal is to reduce the import of cement as much as possible," said the CEO.
"To date, we have invested $326 million in a new plant," said Yalcinkaya. "We have several projects on improvement of the efficiency and development of production, in particular the increase of the product range. However, at the moment we optimize the workflow of our factory. We will continue to improve our efficiency and reduce energy consumption. We also plan to invest in the production of cement for the oil wells."
He said that one of the goals of the company is to enter the international market.
"Currently, the international market, including our neighboring countries, to which we could export our products - Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan are somewhat concerned due to the decrease in oil prices," he said.
"But as I said earlier, we will develop the cement production for oil wells in 2015," said Yalcinkaya. "This is exactly the product that we can easily export to oil producing countries, for instance, to Kazakhstan and Russia."
"Once we develop this product, we will start to export it," he added.
Yalcinkaya said that the plant is equipped with the most modern technology in cement production.
"The major part of the equipment was purchased from Europe and it is the latest technology used in the cement production."
"We will make investments in converting the generated heat into electricity in the future," said the director. "However, we plan to start making these investments after 2015."
"This will allow to better use the generated heat and increase the efficiency of our plant," he added.
The production capacity of the Norm Sement plant, constructed in the Garadagh district of Baku city, is 5,000 tons of clinker per day and 2 million tons of cement per year.