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West China Cement (WCC)

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Thursday 26 November, 2009

West China Cement

Operational Update

RNS Number : 1011D
West China Cement Limited
26 November 2009

West China Cement 

26 November 2009

Operational Update

West China Cement ("WCC") is pleased to announce the completion of the Ankang limestone conveyor belt in November 2009.

Ankang, located in southern Shaanxi province, is our third production base, after Pucheng and Lantian. The firing of the Ankang kiln on 28 December 2008 marked the first step in commissioning the plant and the production of clinker. As of 31 October 2009, the Ankang plant has produced 1 million tonnes of cement and has sold 0.9 million tonnes. The waste heat recycling plant was commissioned in August 2009, and is now operating at capacity.

The plant has operated well and has only been constrained from achieving a higher profit margin by the lack of the conveyor belt. The completion of the conveyor belt and the waste heat plant mark the completion of the Ankang project. Ankang is expected to run at full capacity during the current quarter (Q4 2009).

The technical director or WCC, Mr Jianli Wang commented:

"This is the second longest conveyor belt of its kind in the world and the longest in China, while in terms of complexity and complication of the construction terrain, it is the champion. I am delighted with the performance of the conveyor, which has achieved design capacity of 7000 tonnes per day and operates better than expectation. The conveyor is "quiet" while in operation. As the production line only requires 5 600 tonnes of limestone a day, we are working on a schedule to reduce operating hours and costs.

The conveyor belt avoids the need to truck limestone from the top of the hill across a road distance of 15 kilometres. It not only reduces operating costs and capital expenditure in the long run, but it also provides a much more satisfactory solution from environmental and safety perspectives. "

In addition, the directors are pleased to report on progress at the Hangzhong projects. The Yangxian plant is expected to complete ahead of schedule in Q1 as opposed to Q2 2010 as previously announced. Mianxian plant is on schedule with target completion in Q3 2010. The projects are in line with budget.

Finally, we are pleased to announce the appointment of ICBCI as sponsor for the relisting of the company's shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in the first half of next year. 

For further information, please contact:

West China Cement Limited

Po Ling Low Tel: +86 139 1088 6649

NCB Stockbrokers Ltd

Christopher Caldwell Tel: + 44 20 7071 5200

Citigate Dewe Rogerson Asia

Pui Shan Lee Tel: + 86 21 6340 4186 / Mob: + 86 138 1712 5781 

Notes to Editors:

West China Cement listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange on 4 December 2006, raising approximately £20.1 million net of expenses. 

Prior to the listing, the Company, which is headquartered in Xi'an the provincial capital of Shaanxi Province, had operated three cement production plants in Pucheng with a combined production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per annum since 2003. 

In order to service the growing demand for cement in the region, a new plant running two cement production lines, funded by money raised at the IPO, opened in Lantian in 2007 and has a production capacity of 2 million tonnes. 

In early 2008 the Board approved the construction of the third production plant in Ankang. This 1.8 million tonne plant at Ankang started producing and selling cement in March 2009 and is expected to reach full capacity in Q4 2009. 

Approval for the building of two new cement plants, Yangxian and Mianxian, each with a capacity of 1 million tonnes per annum, was announced in March 2009. With the massive government spend on infrastructure as part of the RMB 4 trillion fiscal stimulus package and the need to rebuild in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake which occurred in this area, the Company has chosen the appropriate location to build these latest projects. 

This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange