HEIDELBERGCEMENT have signed an agreement to acquire 50% of shares and to invest in CBI SA, who control the Ghanaian cement producers CBI Ghana.
By taking this step, HeidelbergCement will be participating in the construction of the world’s largest flash calciner, as well as strengthening their presence in Ghana through CBI’s cement grinding operations. The joint-venture partners are committed to exploring additional calcined clay projects in West Africa.
The ability to activate clay through calcination means high levels of the resulting calcined clay can be substituted for clinker in cement. And as CO2 emissions from clay calcination are significantly below emissions from clinker production, substitution will significantly reduce the company’s CO2 footprint resulting from cement production in Ghana.
Dr Dominik von Achten, chairman of the managing Board of HeidelbergCement, said: ‘Through the joint venture we reinforce two major pillars of our ‘Beyond 2020’ strategy: strengthening our position in a promising emerging market, while at the same time reducing CO2 emissions to a large extent. Calcined clay is a very favourable raw material for West African countries without major limestone reserves to become less dependent on clinker imports.’
Hakan Gurdal, member of the managing board of HeidelbergCement, added: ‘Characterized by high sustained market growth rates, Ghana is one of HeidelbergCement’s core markets in Africa. The new flash calciner in Ghana will be the largest in the world with a capacity of more than 400,000 tonnes of calcined clay per year. The start of production is planned for 2024.’
Further developing their strong market position in Ghana, HeidelbergCement’s subsidiary Ghacem is the leading cement producer in the country. The existing grinding unit of CBI Ghana is in Tema, in the south of the country, and the current cement capacity of 0.6 million tonnes will be more than doubled through the expansion.