The use of cement in Mexico began in 1902 when gray Portland cement was registered for use in construction. Since then the Mexican construction industry has adopted cement as the key component in construction for high-rise buildings, commercial, housing, office buildings, hospitals, schools, and infrastructure projects. Mexico was an early adopter of technological advances in cement. Mexican cement and concrete producers, as well as concrete contractors and designers, are always seeking the newest technology and equipment available to better perform their jobs. Currently the local cement industry is working at 80% of its installed capacity, generating 22,000 direct jobs, 120,000 indirect jobs and it has over 30,000 sell and distribution centers across the Mexican country.
With the National Infrastructure Program (NIP) that President Calderon launched in July 2007, many construction initiatives have become priorities. The NIP includes several infrastructure projects and upgrades for dams, electricity plants, roads, railroads, airports, ports, low-income housing and commercial development. From the original program (over 300 projects) fifty percent are done, and it is expected that another 30% will be concluded at the end of the present administration generating large consumption of cement and concrete. In order to contribute to the NIP, cement-manufacturing firms in Mexico invested over USD $2 billion on new plants or improvement of existing ones during the last years.
High performance concrete and new equipment and techniques for concrete transporting, placing and curing are now readily available almost everywhere in Mexico. As a result, concrete is found in a wide cross section of building applications. Industry experts agree that cement and concrete will remain the main construction material in Mexico into the twenty-first century.
Today, the Mexican cement industry is one of the strongest, most efficient and most competitive in the world. Mexico.s major manufacturer, CEMEX, is the third largest producer worldwide with presence in over 100 countries. The largest and second largest cement manufacturers in the world (Lafarge and Holcim) also have plants in Mexico.
MEXICO’S CEMENT MANUFACTURERS
At the end of 2010, Mexico.s annual installed capacity to manufacture gray Portland cement was over 57 million metric tons. Six companies dominate the Mexican market: CEMEX Mexico (Cementos Mexicanos), Holcim-Apasco, GCC Cemento (Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua), Cooperativa La Cruz Azul together with Cementos y Concretos Nacionales,S.A., Corporacion Moctezuma (Cementos Portland Moctezuma) and Lafarge Cementos. From them, CEMEX is the leading company in Mexico and the third largest cement manufacturer worldwide.
The cement industry in Mexico is characterized as being one of the most efficient industrial processes in the country and one of the most competitive in the world. Ninety-nine percent of production plants in the country have dry route ovens, which are the most efficient.