The CEO of Loma Negra, Sergio Faifman, highlighted that “this is the most important strategic investment that Loma Negra has made in the last 20 years.”
And when asked by Ámbito on how the cement market evolved from the moment they launched the L’Amalí expansion project, Faifman explained: “2017 was the record year for the cement industry along with 2015, the volume it was a little over 12 million tons. The main challenge we had at that time was how to supply the market if it continued to grow until we had this second line. But that did not happen but the market fell, so the problem was not that. And then the pandemic added. The idea was to have this factory in March 2020 but the deadline was stretched. Today we are finishing the factory with volumes still lower than those of 2017 when we launched the investment. With which, from the point of view of capacity, not only we but also the competition has made some expansion of capacity, minor but it did, today the cement industry in Argentina has a quite important margin of capacity with respect to demand ”.
“Although this year there is strong growth compared to last year, we are better than 2019 but we have not yet reached the levels of 2017. We are at levels similar to 2018,” he added.
On the prospects for 2022, he said: “For next year we are optimistic to have a volume similar to the current one with a small growth of the order of 3 or 4 percent. This would make 2022 be practically at the same levels as 2017, obviously five years apart ”. He also specified that “this year there was a lot of announcement of public works but in particular there is nothing yet” and said that the expectation for 2022 is set on large private works.
The incorporation of the new line implies an update of the plant from a technological point of view and a strong increase in its productivity. It also complies with sustainability policies that comply with the strictest international guidelines on environmental care such as low thermal and electrical consumption, water reuse systems and incorporates a new calcination furnace that is prepared for the use of alternative fuels made with co-processed waste, replacing fossil fuels.