HeidelbergCement: A Strong Partner
After 10 years of operation in Georgia and total investment of $250 million, HeidelbergCement Group – the global leader in building materials production – is launching a region-wide project. The modernization of clinker production dry line in Kaspi will bring an additional $100 million in investment to Georgia. Forbes Georgia visited HeidelbergCement HQs to discuss the company’shistory and its ambitionsfor the future with Director of Building Materials, Mr. Davit Jughashvili.
We met at the head office of Procredit Bank – a symbolic locale. It was in 2010 and oneof the first large-scale projects for the company. The continuous pouring of the building’sfoundation reached 1,800 cubic meters.
“I remember the day and the night when the foundation was poured. Many years after wemoved here, but the connection was obviously logical,” recalls Mr. Jughashvili.
Davit Jughashvili joined the company at the beginning of 2008. By that time, HeidelbergCement had already counted two successful years in Georgia, but anew stage of the company’s development began with his involvement.
HeidelbergCement Georgia took its first steps towards the start of concrete production byestablishing a new company called HeidelbergBeton Georgia in 2008.
Ten years have passed and now everything has one name and one result: the global market leader of building materials HeidelbergCementhas become a strong and reliable partner for the Georgian construction business.
HeidelbergCement entered the Georgian market in 2006. Their first investment was an acquisition of shares of Saqcementi and KartuliCementi, the two leading cement producers in Georgia.Currently, HeidelbergCement Georgia unites three integrated cementplants, one milling station in Poti, a cement terminal in Supsa, 13 concretebatching plants,several limestone quarries, two aggregate pits and more than 1,200 employees. The company supplies cement and concrete to numerous projects that have great significance to the country.
“We have the ambition to provide all medium and large-scale projectswith concrete and cement and to be a reliable supplier,” says Davit Jughashvili, noting that the local management used strategy and experience of German colleagues as a foundation to build business in Georgia. In a short time, the company turned into anindustry leader, by establishing the highest standards and bringing European norms to the Georgian market.
The enhancementof standards improved the quality and upgraded the requirements of construction companies. As a citizen of Georgia, I am happy with the outcome, because we are the ones living in these buildings,” he explained.
The production process has its own charm. I realized this while visiting the plants. I found myself in a plant equipped with modern infrastructure, unique German automatization systems and modern filters, which cost the company approximately €12 million. This was the first dry line cement plant to operate in Georgia.
“The system that we use insures client in numerous ways. It has automatic quality control, the human factor reduced to minimum and therefore risks are greatly mitigated. A plant operator can check concrete quality right during the production process,”Jughashvili noted, asIpusheddeeper intothe details of the production process.
“Our ambition is to deliver quality concrete to customers on time, since high level of quality, service and technological support is our main competitive advantage. We have many more employees in the lab than we do in sales, because we are quality oriented,” he adds.
Market statistics vary, but the tendency is positive and increases year by year. The company’s share is 65% and 45% in the local cement and concrete markets respectively.
The aggregates (sand & gravel) busines line is thecompany’s next ambitious step, but currently, the most significant projectfor HeidelbergCement is the modernization of the Kaspi dry line. HeidelbergCement has to replace the outdated, Soviet-era wet methodproduction technology with the modern, ecologically clean technology that will bring an additional $100 million investment to the country.
For HeidelebergCement social responsibility is very important. Annually company organize international event TbilisiMarathonwhich is dedicated simultaneously to establishing healthy lifestyle in Georgia and to charity contribution. The half marathon is organized by Heidelbergcement under the aegis of Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, Tbilisi City Hall, National Tourism Administration and Embassy of Germany in Georgia. Both amateurs and professionals can participate in the half marathon and 10K races. The 6th TbilisiMarathon will be held on October 22, 2017 in Tbilisi city center! The funds raised from the registration will doubled by HeidelbergCement and transferred to the beneficiary.