Medellin’s Cementos Argos EBITDA jumps 123%; Debuts Low-CO2 Cement Plant
Medellin-based multinational cement producer Cementos Argos announced February 24 that its fourth-quarter (4Q) 2015 corporate-wide earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBIDTA) jumped 123% year-on-year (y-o-y), to COP409 billion (US$123.6 million).
Gross income also rose 54% y-o-y, to COP2.2 trillion (US$665 million), while 4Q 2015 gross sales volume rose 9% y-o-y, to 3.6 million tons of cement and 2.9 million cubic meters of concrete. Cement/concrete volumes also rose 13% for full-year 2015 versus 2014, according to the company.
The jump in sales volume in Colombia primarily was the result of higher demand in the residential construction sector as well as growing demand from various infrastructure projects (mainly highways), according to the company.
Meanwhile, Argos’s U.S. regional division saw 4Q 2015 EBITDA rise 53% y-o-y, to US$24 million, according to the compan.
The company-wide improvements are the result of rising tonnage volumes in most of its operating regions as well as a recovery in USA demand, plus organizational efficiencies and a “well-executed” pricing strategy, according to Argos.
USA Plant Recycles CO2 Emissions
On a related front, Argos announced in early February the incorporation of a new technology that enables capture and recycling of carbon dioxide (CO2) “global warming” emissions at its Atlanta, Georgia, cement plant (see photo, above).
The technology not only slashes net CO2 emissions from the plant but also simultaneously improves the resistance and manageability of the resulting concrete, according to Argos.
The plant’s CO2 is collected and stored at a facility built by Canada-based CarbonCure. The stored CO2 is reacted chemically with calcium hydroxide and water, forming calcium carbonate, which is then used in concrete production.
“In Cementos Argos we challenge ourselves to develop and implement products, processes and services that are more sustainable, and this innovation is an example of that,” said Cementos Argos president Jorge Mario Velásquez. “We are the first company in the USA to offer this [product] to our clients,” he added.