EU-financed projects will spur demand for cement in Central Europe 

With residential and non-residential construction still subdued, cement producers in Central Europe are hoping that infrastructure upgrade investments co-financed with EU sources will help the industry in the challenging times.

by PMR Publications Tuesday, March 16, 2010
There are nearly 40 cement plants located in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, with a total installed production capacity of over 50 million tonnes. Most of the cement plants, after their privatisation in the 1990s, have seen massive investments in capacity expansion, the replacement of the wet process of production by the dry process, reductions in emissions, etc. Three-quarters of the plants in the region are controlled by international cement giants such as Holcim, Lafarge, HeidelbergCement, Italcementi, Buzzi Unicem and Cemex.
In 2007, when the construction industry was booming, total cement consumption in the six countries increased by more than 13%. This was followed by another increase, of 5%, in 2008, and the volume of the cement market in the region reached a record 44.4 million tonnes. Last year, however, when construction activity all over the region slumped, cement consumption underwent a steep decline of more than one-fifth, to less than 35 million tonnes. In 2010, a slight increase should be expected and this will be followed by a nearly 10% growth in 2011. Much of this increase in sales volumes in the region next year will be accounted for by Poland, where preparations for UEFA Euro 2012 will reach their peak.
In both Poland and other countries of the region, cement consumption will be boosted by infrastructure projects co-funded by the EU in the next few years, whereas residential and non-residential construction will remain subdued.
Key projects underway and planned include the construction of:
- the Trakia, Struma, Lyulin and Maritsa motorways in Bulgaria
- the D1, D3 and D11 motorways as well as the R35 and R52 expressways in the Czech
Republic
- the M0, M6, M31 and M43 motorways in Hungary
- motorways, expressways, stadiums, and sewage treatment plants in Poland
- the Transilvania motorway as well as two new airports in Romania
- the D1 motorway, and R1, R2, R3 and R4 expressways in Slovakia.
The ongoing problems with liquidity faced by developers will be overcome only after sentiment has improved on the global financial markets.
Whereas the cement markets in the CE region will continue to encounter challenges in the next few quarters, in the medium term the region’s immense infrastructure upgrade and housing needs will foster cement consumption.

This press release is based on information contained in the latest PMR report entitled „ Cement market in Central Europe 2010 – Development forecasts for 2010-2012”.

For more information on the report please contact:
Marketing Department:
tel. /48/ 12 618 90 00
e-mail: marketing@pmrcorporate.com

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