What are the preliminary results for 2023 that you can share?

Unacem Group was reorganized in 2022 and today we function as a geographically diversified business group, concentrated in the construction and energy sectors. We have a presence in Chile, Peru, Ecuador and on the southwest coast of the United States. As a business group, 2023 has been in line with 2022 in consolidated terms, which was the best year in the history of us as a business group. Diversification allowed us to balance the results of the recoveries in the different sectors and we have been able to grow significantly this year.

We consolidated the closing of two important acquisitions, one in the energy sector. Celepsa, our electrical company, bought Termochilca, which we closed in the month of May. We recently closed the acquisition of a cement company in the State of California, which is adjacent to the operation we already have in Arizona. So for us it has been a year of growth and results that remained in line with 2022.

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What is the strategic vision for this expansion?

Capacity is increased. If we add the installed capacity in all the markets where we operate, with this latest acquisition we are reaching a total installed capacity of 12.5 million tons of cement.

Before the acquisitions, how much was it?

This last acquisition was one million (tons). We went from 11.5 million to 12.5 million tons. And in 2022 our installed cement capacity in the United States was 700 thousand tons and in 2023 we expanded and at the end of this year we have reached 2 million tons annually.

Is the growth in capacity direct or will it be gradual?

Installed capacity is what you can potentially produce. In the United States we are not at full capacity yet, we will reach it in two or three years.

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What are the prospects for 2024?

2024 is a year of consolidation of our operations. That will be seen in the results, it will be a year of sales and EBITDA growth, mainly driven by the operations we carried out this year.

Do you see any specific products that will stand out more?

We continue in the same sectors and products. There will be new product development challenges ahead, but not in 2024.

The El Niño Phenomenon is positioned as a risk prevention position. Is there any action plan?

In Peru we are concentrated in the central zone, where the effects of El Niño are less severe compared to the North or South. Our greatest risk is linked to landslides that could affect the supply chain, in the movement of raw materials. We move material along the Central Highway and we have an electrical business, we operate a hydroelectric plant on the Cañete River that could be affected by the weather issue. But in general terms, the results of our business are not usually severely impacted.

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After the effects of El Niño, I imagine there will be greater demand for cement.

Maybe now if prevention, prosecution and infrastructure measures are taken, that will probably activate the construction sector a little. If reconstruction work had to be done, too.

Has this reactivation been seen so far or yet?

No, not yet. In fact, now at CADE they announced that they want to invest in prevention works, but that has not yet translated into the dispatch of cement.

I want to take this opportunity to mention that the Unacem Group is mentoring two young people. A boy, named Julio Barrios, is from Tarma and an engineer at the UNI, and a young girl named Katherine, from Cajamarca, who is a communicator and social manager. I had the opportunity to be with them now. We believe it is an excellent space to promote.

In that sense, what is the line that you seek to draw in sustainability?

Sustainability has five axes: the issue of governance, climate action, environmental management and social management, circular economy and ecosystem conservation. Much emphasis on the issue of climate action, because the cement industry is very sensitive to CO2 issues. The cement industry is responsible for 8% of global CO2 emissions and handles enormous volumes. After water, the second most consumed material is cement and it is a very difficult industry to destroy. And decarbonizing the industry is a fundamental challenge for us too. We assume the commitment to be carbon neutral in 2050 and to reduce our carbon footprint by 21% compared to 2019 by 2030.

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