Basal: a new presence in the Netherlands
19 December 2007

Basal: a new presence in the Netherlands

At the beginning of 2007, a significant part of the operating activities previously developed by the associate NCD (Nederlands Cement Deelnemingsmaatschaapij) was contributed to the new 100% subsidiary Basal, headquartered in Nieuwegein, near Utrecht, in the Netherlands.
Basal represents a direct access to the Dutch market, where the gross domestic product and construction industry investments are expected to grow by 3% and 1.5% respectively in 2008. 
Basal is a leader of the Country in the ready-mix concrete business and has a strong vertical integration in the aggregates sector, too.
The Betonmortel division (ready-mix concrete) operates 17 modern and efficient batching plants, with an extended presence in three regions of the Country, namely the north, west and central areas.
The Toeslagstoffen division (natural aggregates) produces, sells and delivers different types of sand and gravel for both the company’s own needs and for third parties. The digging of these raw materials takes place at the pits of Zwolle and Markelo.

Robilante and Vernasca attain the Integrated Environmental Permit
29 November 2007

Robilante and Vernasca attain the Integrated Environmental Permit

We are pleased to inform you that two Italian cement plants have successfully attained the new Integrated Environmental Permit (IEP): Robilante (Cuneo) and Vernasca (Piacenza). The authorization procedure, which foresees the direct participation of the stakeholders, came to a positive conclusion with the granting of the IEPs by the Provincial Governments of Cuneo and Piacenza respectively to the Robilante cement plant (no. 1108 on 29 October 2007) and the Vernasca cement plant (no. 2169 on 31 October 2007).

Italy ratified the guiding principles of the European Directive 96/61/EC regarding the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Law (IPPC) with Legislative Decree 372/1999 first and subsequently with Legislative Decree 59/2005. These regulatory requirements involve cement plants with a production of over 500 tons of clinker per day.

The purpose of the new EC regulatory framework is to roll into one single authoritative standard all the technical-managerial measures aimed at preventing and controlling the various environmental influences, assessed with a proactive and integrated approach to eco-compatibility (Integrated Environmental Permit or IEP).
The fundamental prerequisite for conferring the IEP is therefore to achieve a high level of overall environmental protection, which is obtained by identifying the Best Available Techniques (BAT) applicable to the cement sector and establishing effective, economically sustainable measures to minimize the consumption of natural and energy resources, waste production, emissions (into the air, water and ground) and sound levels, as well as implementing systematic audits to ensure that the performance standards are being met and to keep the most important environmental aspects under constant control.

A sustainable distribution terminal
08 October 2007

A sustainable distribution terminal

Buzzi Unicem USA opened a new cement distribution terminal at Sayler Park, a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. The terminal consists of two steel silos, each with a capacity of 1,635 metric tons. One of the silos has a divider wall allowing the flexibility to handle up to 3 different bulk products.
The terminal, designed to deal with all products pneumatically, is arranged for taking inland barges, railcars and trucks.
One unique aspect of the outfit is the lack of any noticeable sound when operating. When you first arrive on site your initial reaction is that the terminal is not operating, even though you see trucks loading or unloading. The terminal is located close to a residential area and extra efforts were taken to make sure it was as quiet as possible. All compressors where purchased with low decibel sound enclosures and then installed inside a concrete block room.
The entire driveway is made of concrete to eliminate dust and noise while the railroad track is hidden to limit the visual exposure of the plant from pedestrians.

The New Orleans plant two years after Katrina
31 August 2007

The New Orleans plant two years after Katrina

Two years after Katrina, the New Orleans (LA) plant is completely up and running again.  Katrina, which bore down on the South-Eastern coast of the United States between the end of August and beginning of September 2005, was the most destructive and financially devastating hurricane ever to strike the country since 1900.
After forming in the Bahamas on 23 August 2005, the hurricane moved North and reached the coast of Mississippi and Louisiana on 29 August. As Katrina moved through New Orleans, it flooded and badly damaged our slag grinding plant, our dock and our cement distribution terminal.

Twenty-four months later, the slag grinding plant is operating five days per week, the cement shipping and receiving departments are fully operational, the dock has been rebuilt, and the offices have also been refurbished. In addition, the personnel who operate this facility are for the most part completely back in place. Some of these 46 employees were employed before Katrina and others were hired just recently.

Neurath, the largest lignite-fired power plant
31 July 2007

Neurath, the largest lignite-fired power plant

In the lignite-rich Rhenish region, right in the middle of a colossal industrial area, the Renania-Westfalia Electricity Company (RWE) is building an entirely innovative superplant in Grevenbroich-Neurath, and Dyckerhoff Beton has won the contract for the supply of the concrete to be used for construction of the two cooling towers.
The plant will become the largest European production center for electricity obtained from lignite.
Thanks to the use of this material, the CO2 emissions will decrease by one third, along with the emissions of sulfurous anhydride and nitrogen dioxide, which means about six million tons of carbon dioxide less each year.
For the preparation of the concrete, Dyckerhoff Beton has used Sulfadur®, a special cement produced in the Lengerich plant. In order to avoid the lining inside the cooling towers, the concrete preparation mixture has a greater resistance to the passage of acid substances.
In the upcoming years we will witness a boom in the construction of new high thermal efficiency electric power plants all over Europe, some of which already have designs or even a call for bids or authorization. We are certain to be able to participate in these projects both with our current products as well as with those being developed, exploiting our proven experience.

Available online the fourth edition of the Sustainability Report
05 July 2007

Available online the fourth edition of the Sustainability Report

The publication - following the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines - witnesses the ability of Buzzi Unicem to promote a more responsible corporate culture and it is the result of a deep process within the company, targeted to address actions and information in an ongoing document, effective instrument toward continuous improvement.
The Sustainability Report 2006 presents the social, environmental and economical performances linked to the activities of the group within its countries of operation, in line with the approach of previous years. The structure of the contents follows the logic of continuous and progressive refinement, recording into 2006 a wider perimeter of analysis, such to allow our stakeholders to become more and more aware on the state of art of our commitment towards the environment, land and community.

Chattanooga plant honoured for reducing emissions
26 June 2007

Chattanooga plant honoured for reducing emissions

Buzzi Unicem USA - Signal Mountain plant (formerly Signal Mountain Cement Company), located in Tennessee, recently received a Green Industry Award from the Greater Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce. This was the first presentation of the Green Awards, recognizing achievement of high standards of excellence in protecting the environment.

The Buzzi Unicem plant reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 51.3 percent for each of the 870,000 tons of cement manufactured by the plant each year. The plant was able to achieve this by completing, some years ago, a $140 million upgrade to convert from wet to dry manufacturing process. Thanks to these changes Buzzi Unicem USA reached significant results in the reduction of greenhouse gases.

Expansion of production network in Russia
31 May 2007

Expansion of production network in Russia

Plans for a greenfield project in the Orenburg region

Dyckerhoff (a subsidiary of Buzzi Unicem) plans to build a greenfield cement plant with a cement capacity of about 2.0 million tons in the Orenburg region, located about 35 kilometers from the Kazakhstan border. The new plant is expected to be completed and in operations by 2010. Total project cost is estimated up to 250 million euro, to be financed out of existing cash reserves and expected future internal financing.

The new plant will benefit from favorable transport links, due to direct access to the main railroad between Moscow and Tashkent, allowing for a broader reach. The chosen location will enable the group to supply the markets north of the Volga/Ural region as well as those of north-west Kazakhstan up to the Caspian Sea. Both the Russian and the Kazakhstan markets are booming, and particularly the economy of the Orenburg region and Kazakhstan is propelled by the presence of exploited oil and gas reserves, which would guarantee the new initiative a controlled and steady growth.

100 years of Buzzi Unicem
24 May 2007

100 years of Buzzi Unicem

Buzzi Unicem marked the 100 year anniversary of its founding with a two-day celebration held on Friday and Saturday, 11 and 12 May, paying tribute to the history and dedication of the company.
Friday was devoted to the Shareholders’ Meeting and a convivial meeting with the employees of Casale Monferrato, while a private ceremony with approximately 400 guests was held on Saturday. Both events took place outdoors in beautiful structures that were specially erected for the occasion at our headquarters on via Luigi Buzzi.
One large gazebo was set up with 41 tables, each bearing the name of one of the group’s 41 plants dispersed throughout Italy, Europe and the Americas.

Guido Daniele, a designer and hyperrealist illustrator who has worked in the publishing and advertising world for many years, created a 160 sq. mt. mural on a wall opposite the offices.  The mural depicts the cement plants of yesterday, today and tomorrow and, with a touch of color, aptly complements the “historical and technological park” of gardens next to the head office.

20 years of Consulta
21 May 2007

20 years of Consulta

In 1987, a number of companies and organizations in Turin came together to form the “Consulta per la Valorizzazione dei Beni Artistici e Culturali di Torino” with the aim of helping improve the city’s cultural and artistic heritage situation, very critical at that time. The 28 members of Consulta today include leading companies from the finance, credit and insurance sectors and many of the largest industrial and services firms located in the subalpine area, including Buzzi Unicem.

During its 20 years of existence, Consulta has completed 20 projects, invested 16 million euros, and employed over one million hours of labor performed by scholars, restorers and professionals on behalf of the city’s main monuments, establishing at the same time a constructive relationship with the public institutions and regional boards that are charged with conserving them.

The restoration work performed throughout these 20 years has involved monuments, palaces and fountains such as the Palazzo Carignano (Carignano Palace), the Vittorio Emanuele II (Victor Emanuel II) monument, the Palazzo dell’Università (University Palace), the railing around the Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace), the churches in the Piazza San Carlo and the fountains in the Piazza CLN.  The restoration work planned for 2007-2008 include the Quattro Stagioni (Four Seasons) statues in the gardens of the Palazzo Reale and the 10 tapestries depicting the stories of Artemisia which will be located at Palazzo Chiablese (Chiablese Palace), plus the completion of several projects such as the relocation of the Galleria Sabauda (Sabauda Gallery) in the Palazzo Reale and the restoration of the Planisfero di Torino, a 16th century nautical map attributed to the grandson of Amerigo Vespucci.

The Consulta of Turin is a unique organization in our Country thanks to the success of the projects undertaken and the commitment of its members who received special recognition from the city of Turin during a ceremony held in the Sala del Consiglio Comunale of the Palazzo Civico (townhall) on 9 May 2007.

The painters of happiness: Zandomeneghi, De Nittis, Renoir
27 April 2007

The painters of happiness: Zandomeneghi, De Nittis, Renoir

Coinciding with the opening of the Giuseppe De Nittis Picture Gallery, at the Palazzo Della Marra in Barletta, the exhibit “Zandomeneghi De Nittis Renoir. The painters of happiness” will be on display.

Under the patronage of the President of the Italian Republic, this exhibition is promoted by the Town Council of Barletta and the Apulia Region, and it has been realized with an essential contribution from Svimervice and Lombardi Ecologia, together with Buzzi Unicem, the Carige Bank and the Carime Foundation. The exhibit is produced and organized by Arthemisia.

The three painters, members of the Parisian artistic scene, each with his own style and particular periods of activity, reveal connections highlighted in the exhibition involving friendship, impressionistic sensitivity, proximity and contradictions.

The path of the exhibition, which is composed of approximately eighty works including paintings, drawings, pastels and graphics, winds among pictorial subjects revealing the rich charm of a season changing the ideology tinged with cultural visions of the world, of society, of truth.

Exceptional works by Zandomeneghi can be admired, such as Luna di miele (A pesca sulla Senna) [Honeymoon (Fishing on the Seine)] (1878 c.) from Palazzo Pitti, Il Moulin de la Galette, Al Caffè [At the Café] (1884) from the Mondadori collection of Palazzo Te in Mantua; and Renoir masterpieces such as Le Chapeau épinglé (Cappelli estivi) [The pinned hat (Summer hats)] (1894) of the E.G. Bührle Foundation of Zurich, the beautiful Baigneuse (Nudo reclinato) [Bather (Reclined nude)] (1902) from the Beyeler Gallery in Basilea, and many others from important public and private collections. Along with these are some exemplary works by Giuseppe De Nittis, who shares the name of the picture gallery, such as Paesaggio [Landscapes], Primavera [Spring], Veli e sete [Veils and Silk].

The exhibition will remain open until July 15 2007.

Volyn-Cement and the Palace of Culture
23 March 2007

Volyn-Cement and the Palace of Culture

The cultural scene of Zdolbunov, a town of 25,000 inhabitants situated near the city of Rivne in north-western Ukraine, is tightly linked to the Palace of Culture of the Volyn cement plant employees. The Palace was built at the same time as the plant, both of which were completed in 1957.  Volyn-Cement has supported this cultural center for 50 years, which is used 75% of the time by the cement plant employees and their families but also by the residents of Zdolbunov for various activities of an amateur nature. Various artistic groups have been established since it opened, including the brass and wind orchestra, the choir, the folk dance and song school for both children and adults, the theater group, the school for solo singers and different types of musical ensembles.

The renown of the Palace of Culture performers extends beyond the city to throughout the entire region, and the brass and wind orchestra has already performed in Russia, Belarus and Latvia.  Many groups from the cultural center have received awards and recognition for their commitment to the promotion of folk art and for participating in various regional and national festivals and competitions. The Palace of Culture also houses a museum about the history of the Volyn cement plant, a library with more than 25,000 books and a photography club, plus it is also used to hold celebrations and functions for the employees of the plant. The trade union representatives and the management of the cement plant support the activities of the various amateur groups and also take care of maintaining the building. The company sponsors training and sports programs for the employees, such as the Volyn-Cement soccer team, which is the main club in the Zdolbunov area and has placed well at the regional level and in the national amateur championships.

Sucholoshskzement: construction of line 5 kicks off
15 March 2007

Sucholoshskzement: construction of line 5 kicks off

The official groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of line 5 at the Suchoi Log cement plant was held on 23 January 2007 with many VIPs in attendance:
- Eduard Rossel, Governor of the Sverdlovsk region
- Sandro Buzzi, Chairman of Buzzi Unicem
- Wolfgang Bauer, Chairman of Dyckerhoff Board of Management
- Maxim Sotnikov, President of the Board of Directors of Sucholoshskzement
- Vladimir Nikolaev, General Manager of Sucholoshskzement
- Anatoly Bykov, Mayor of Suchoi Log
The Minister of Construction and Architecture for the Sverdlovsk region, Alexander Karlov, also participated in the ceremony, underlining the fact that Sucholoshskzement is the first company to start building new cement production facilities in Russia during the last 20 years.

A new 5-stage kiln with precalciner will be built to accompany the four existing wet process kilns, with an expected production capacity of 1.2 million tons besides the current 2.4 million tons of capacity.  Line 5 will allow the company to become one of the major cement producers in Russia, particularly in the Sverdlovsk region which occupies an area between the eastern Urals and the western Siberian plain.  The new plant is slated for completion and start-up by the end of 2008, thus meeting the growing need for cement in the region which is expected to triple by 2010.  The implementation of line 5 will bring new impetus to the development of the city of Suchoi Log, where the cement plant is the largest industry.

The ceremony concluded with the reading of the “message for posterity”, which was then placed inside a cube of cement and sealed by the VIPs in attendance.  The cube will be opened in 50 years, on 27 January 2057 to be precise, when Sucholoshskzement celebrates 85 years of activity.

Buzzi Unicem enters the S&P/MIB index
14 February 2007

Buzzi Unicem enters the S&P/MIB index

Effective as from January 2, 2007, Buzzi Unicem’s ordinary shares (BZU.MI) are included in the S&P/MIB index, which measures the performance of the 40 major stocks (blue chips) trading on Borsa Italiana MTA and MTAX.
The index basket selects the listed securities according to the following criteria:
sector representation of each constituent;
free-float capitalization.

This is an impressive achievement which rewards the work of all group employees and acknowledges the market appreciation for our company.