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Azerbaijan 2012 | REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION | B2B: CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS

Construction materials are a major growth generator in Azerbaijan, and both foreign and domestic investors are getting in on the action.

Hasan Yalçınkaya
HASAN YALÇINKAYA
CEO
NORM LLC
Ümit N. Başdaş
ÜMIT N. BAŞDAŞ
Managing Director
BASF Caspian

What is the status of the cement production facilities you are presently installing?

HASAN YALÇINKAYA As with any big project, there are difficulties to overcome, but we are on track. The EPC contract for the plant's construction was awarded to CTIEC (PRC) and Mitsubishi Corporation (Japan). The participation in the project of representatives of the countries occupying the second and third places in the global economy gives us added confidence. In addition, the plant's main production equipment will be purchased from leading manufacturers in Germany and other EU countries. Such a combination of technical competence and know-how, as well as traditions of quality, efficiency, and sustainability, plus R&D and the best practices of Europe and Asia would seem to promise excellent results. The contract became effective on May 13, 2011, and set target dates for early cement production and full-scale production in May 2013 and mid-September 2013, respectively. Although most of the processing equipment will be supplied from Europe, and the engineering and construction will be done by Chinese and Turkish companies, we are planning to use a considerable amount of local expertise in the construction of the plant. We are currently in the process of preparing and establishing an operation plan in order to be ready to operate when the plant is completed.

What are the main services BASF Caspian currently offers?

ÜMIT N. BAŞDAŞ We provide high-quality chemical products to all construction fields. The company produces a range of construction chemicals in admixture and construction systems such as concrete admixtures, tile adhesives, joints and wide-joint grouts, repair materials, waterproofing systems, epoxy and polyurethane flooring systems, undercoats and primers, dry additives, and shake floor hardeners. Ucrete, the toughest flooring product among them, offers a 20-year guarantee. BASF's portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, and agricultural products, to construction chemical products for the oil and gas sector. I would also like to add that BASF Caspian is the leading company in the production of concrete additives in Azerbaijan. Glenium, a final generation concrete admixture, has recently been used in all the high-rise buildings of Baku, such as DIA's Flame Towers, SOCAR Tower, and the SOFAZ Tower projects.

How is the company working to ensure the quality of cement production from its new facilities?

HY In developing plans for our project, we designed the plant to be fully automatic, which will enable us to control all stages of the production chain and collect important data to maintain the highest standards possible. We believe that people make quality, and we will be conducting extensive training courses for all our employees. Therefore, we are investing heavily in infrastructure and human capital. For the time being we have 44 employees, but once the plant becomes a reality and all the departments of the company are established, we plan to employ around 350 people.

What investment and development plans are you working on in the medium to long term?

ÜB BASF has recently developed a global 2020 vision; the company's sales in emerging markets such as Azerbaijan have almost tripled in the last 10 years and they currently represent one-third of the company's overall sales. By 2020 BASF expects that sales in emerging countries will represent up to 45% of global sales activities. BASF plans capital expenditures of around $30 billion to $35 billion in emerging markets, and such a trend would bring investments to Azerbaijan as well as other emerging markets.