HeidelbergCement’s Akcansa to Supply Cement for Bosporus Bridge

Akcansa Cimento AS, a Turkish cement maker part owned by HeidelbergCement AG, will supply concrete for a third suspension bridge over the Bosporus strait and increase capacity for housing and infrastructure projects.

Akcansa, equally owned by Haci Omer Sabanci Holding AS, Turkey’s second biggest group of companies, will sell 1.25 million cubic meters of concrete for the bridge and connecting roads on Istanbul’s European side, Chief Executive Officer Hakan Gurdal said at a news conference today. Astaldi SpA and IC Ictas Insaat Sanayi & Ticaret AS hired Hyundai Engineering & Construction to build the $3 billion bridge.

Sabanci, which also owns Cimsa Cimento Sanayi & Ticaret AS, seeks to acquire cement plants in nearby countries to double its capacity in five years and is in talks with several producers, said Mehmet Gocmen, head of Sabanci’s cement group, on Jan. 22. Akcansa and Cimsa plan both domestic and external growth as Turkish regulation bans a single company from controlling more than 25 percent of the cement market.

About 20 companies, including Italcementi SpA and Cimpor Cimentos de Portugal SGPS SA, operate in Turkey, with a total annual capacity of about 106 million tons, according to the Cement Producers’ Association.

“We are considering capacity increase for beyond 2014 as more infrastructure and housing projects will come up in Turkey,” Gurdal said. “We are also monitoring opportunities for acquisitions, but there is no concrete plan yet.”

Akcansa also wants to supply concrete to the government’s third Istanbul airport project estimated to cost more than 10 billion euros ($13.3 billion), Gurdal said. “The awarded group hasn’t started subcontractor deals yet,” he said.

Akcansa makes about 7.5 million tons of cement per year, or 10 percent of Turkey’s output. Its annual capacities are 9 million tons of cement and 5 million tons of concrete, Gurdal said. The Istanbul-based company exports one third of its production, mainly to African and Russian markets, he said.

Gurdal expects Turkey’s cement consumption to grow six percent to seven percent to more than 60 million tons this year.

Akcansa is also supplying concrete to a part of a $6.5 billion highway project to link Istanbul and the western city of Izmir, Gurdal said. The project, including a three-kilometer suspension bridge across the Sea of Marmara, was awarded to Astaldi-led consortia involving Turkish, Italian and Japanese builders.