23 May 2006
HeidelbergCement invests in Georgia
HeidelbergCement purchased a stake of 51% in the Georgian cement producer Kartuli Tsementi; this is the first investment of HeidelbergCement in the Caucasus region. Located in Rustavi, 50 km from the Georgian capital Tbilisi, Kartuli Tsementi operates a grinding facility with a capacity of 100,000 tonnes of cement per year. HeidelbergCement plans to extend the capacity of the plant up to 500,000 tonnes of cement by early 2008 and later to increase the production of cement up to 1 million tonnes.
Georgia is a strategically well located country with a big potential for growth. It is benefiting from transport of oil from neighbouring Azerbaijan and it is also a transit country between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Therefore, further economic growth, large investments in infrastructural projects and a significant increase in cement consumption are expected. Together with Azerbaijan, the Caucasian market with 13 million inhabitants currently absorbs 3.3 million tonnes of cement and is expected to grow up to 5 million tonnes by 2010.
We want to benefit from the growth potential of the Caucasian market”, said Dr. Bernd Scheifele, Chairman of the Managing Board of HeidelbergCement. “With this investment, we pursue consistently our growth strategy of further expanding in the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia and of building up a strong market position there. The market entry into Georgia is a further important step to build up a network in this region.” In November and December 2005 respectively, HeidelbergCement had acquired the cement companies Buchtarma Cement in Kazakhstan and Doncement in the Ukraine.