The Business Year

Morteza Lotfi

IRAN - Real Estate & Construction

Strong Hold

Managing Director & Board Member, Fars & Khuzestan Cement Company (FKCC)

Bio

Morteza Lotfi has worked for Fars & Khuzestan Cement Co. (FKCC) for more than 15 years. He is also the Managing Director of Khuzestan Cement Co. and Abyek Cement Co. He is also a member of the Board of Directors in the Social Security Investment Company (SSIC) and is a member of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce as a professional director. He studied law and entrepreneurship, focusing on doing business in Iran.

TBY talks to Morteza Lotfi, Managing Director & Board Member of Fars & Khuzestan Cement Company (FKCC), on the company's position in the global market, its plans to expand overseas, and his outlook for the future.

What is FKCC’s position in the global cement industry?

FKCC is one of the holdings under the Social Security Organization, and it is solely active in the cement industry. We own 17 factories with 25 million tons of production capacity per annum. We have two white cement plants, each with a capacity of 500,000 tons per annum. Right now, we produce nine types of cement, and we plan to produce colored cement in the future. With this cement, we manufacture sheets, plates, and other products such as water pipes. We also provide engineering services to our cement companies through other subsidiaries of the holding, and we also have some packaging producer companies and concrete production under our chain. Overall, we are the largest cement producer in Iran, with 32% of the market. Abyek Cement Company, one of our subsidiaries, is the largest cement producer of the Middle East, with a capacity of 16,500 tons per day, over five times more than a regular company. Five of our cement companies are connected to the railroad transportation network, and we also have a terminal for export. In this regard, we export our products to 26 countries around the world and are the 13th-largest cement producer in the world.

Which markets are a part of your expansion plans abroad?

About 20% of our total production is designated for exports. Following the lifting of sanctions, we started some discussions with foreign companies from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Iraq for joint ventures and investment. We also had some talks with Pakistan for swapping production, as the northern part exports cement while the south imports. We were negotiating with Lafarge before its merger with Holcim to set up a joint venture in Iran and Iraq. We also export to the Persian Gulf countries, and we are going to establish some agencies in the CIS. We own 42% of the shares of the Export Development Company, while the rest belongs to other cement companies. Its mission is to export Iranian cement to other countries, and we are going to establish five terminals across the country to transport the cement abroad.

What is your strategy to raise Iran’s position in the world’s cement industry?

At present, we are focusing on building common brand standards for all our companies. The total capacity of the country of 80 million tons per annum is expected to increase to 102 million tons this year. Since 2014, Iran has been the fourth largest cement producer in the world after China, India, and the US. At present, 85% of the total machinery and equipment for cement is produced locally, and before now most of the machinery and equipment was imported from Europe.

What is your outlook for the year ahead?

The rise of the cement market is directly related to economic growth, so we have a good vision for the future year regarding the 5% forecasted GDP growth. We also expect a better situation in Syria and Yemen, because our neighboring countries will soon see an end to the wars, and they are good markets for us. The government should start giving us some assistance or subsidies for transporting the cement all around the world, because right now the transportation fee is a bit high. Moreover, we are the first holding in Iran that is focused on preserving the environment and to receive a green industry certificate. All the companies located in different parts of the country are monitored every day to make sure they comply with environmental standards.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

You may also be interested in...

Ata Ghotbi

IRAN - Agriculture

Satisfying Iran’s fast-food hunger

Interview

Chairman, ATA Corporation

Masoud Zarringhalam

IRAN - Energy & Mining

Established just after the ending of the Iran-Iraq War

Interview

Managing Director, Sazeh Pardazi Iran Consulting Engineers Co.

Dr. Mehdi Fazli

IRAN - Economy

Trailblazer

Interview

CEO, Golrang Industrial Group (GIG)

View All interviews