The World's White Cement

Monthly: September 2019


Cement executive on trial as State Control Committee calls for penalties for officials

Belarus: The Council of Ministers has received a recommendation from the State Control Commission (SCC) that punitive measures be taken against officials responsible for cement production in the midst of another disappointing year. Belapan has reported that members of the SCC blamed the failure to secure efficient performance on untenable costs due to intermediaries. Investigators from the SCC’s Financial Investigations Department (FID) found that Russian intermediaries were selling cement produced in Belarus to Belarusian state-owned companies at a marked-up price. A total of 13 criminal cases have been opened in connection with the findings, including one against an executive of a Belarusian cement company.

In 2013, Belarus completed the modernisation of its three state-owned cement producers, Belarusian Cement, Krasnoselsktroymaterialy and Krichevcementnoshifer to a total capacity of 2.3Mt/yr, at a cost of US$1.1bn. In 2018, the companies missed eight of their 10 key performance targets. Besides cost reduction, capacity utilisation and labour productivity targets were not met.

Elsewhere, Krasnoselsktroymaterialy has tendered for the supply of gas cleaning equipment, including the replacement of bag filters at two of the mills in its grinding facility.


Disaster near LafargeHolcim quarry

Zimbabwe: A blast at Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe’s Sternblick quarry on 15 August 2019 has killed one person and injured another.

Agence Ecofin has reported that two women were at home on Pangoula Farm, Harare, when debris from the quarry entered through the roof, striking 36-year-old Shupikai Chatsina, who lost her life instantly, on the head. She leaves behind a husband and five children. The second woman, Ms Chatsina’s aunt, is recovering in hospital.

LafargeHolcim’s contractor Afri Mining did not follow established blasting procedures. The disaster is under police investigation.