Kuala Lumpur, 17 August 2006
Lafarge Malayan Cement Berhad (LMCB) added to Malaysia's list of industrial R&D credits today with the official launch of AVANCRETETM, an innovative cement developed by the Lafarge Malaysian team with the support from Lafarge's Asia Technical Centre in Petaling Jaya.
The unveiling of AVANCRETETM was officiated by YB Senator Dato' Abdul Rahman bin Suliman, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, in the presence of the board of directors and key business partners of LMCB.
Technically one of the most advanced cement in the world, AVANCRETETM is the result of a one-year intensive programme covering market survey, product research and development, and multiple product trials conducted by the local technical services.
LMCB President and Chief Executive Officer, Alain Crouÿ said: "AVANCRETETM is an innovative and unique product, developed through a thorough analysis of our customers' needs. It is the result of a year of intensive market research, product R&D, workshops and testings with our customers."
In his speech during which he congratulated LMCB for its latest product innovation, YB Senator Dato' Abdul Rahman bin Suliman said: "We are truly proud that AVANCRETETM is a Malaysian-made product and this aptly goes to prove once again, that Malaysia has world-class research and development capabilities and can make valuable and sustainable contributions to our industrial progress and developments."
On the rationale of AVANCRETETM's development, Yeow Wai Siaw, Senior Vice President, Marketing said: "We operate in an industry where we are constantly challenged by the problem of product parity. As such, our strategy for the future is to compete on the quality of our products and services rather than on price. With AVANCRETETM, we believe we have taken the competition to a different level through product innovation. We are now able to differentiate this product distinctly from our competitors and provide better value to our customers".
AVANCRETETM was first introduced to Malaysia's construction industry in August last year via a series of industrial workshops. Based on consistent feedback from contractors, the new cement is proven to improve productivity, and is easier to mix, faster to set with a better workability, converting to less manpower and a shorter working time for users.
AVANCRETETM is a superior cement which performs significantly better than Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC). For 2006, it is expected to replace more than 10% of LMCB's bag cement volume. Crouÿ summarized the implications of AVANCRETETM's launch to LMCB: "In the immediate term, AVANCRETETM helps to fulfill the unmet requirements in construction works which will improve our customers' productivity. In the long term, it will help enhance our customers' loyalty and continue to testify our leadership position in the cement industry".
AVANCRETETM is a technically advanced new cement from LMCB, developed and produced based on customers needs and requirements by the Malaysian team with the support from Lafarge's Asia Technical Centre in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
The name AVANCRETETM is a combination of the words "Avance" (means advance in French) and "Concrete".
The better workability and faster setting time of AVANCRETETM, derived from finer grinding and improved formulation, allows contractors to increase their productivity and produce better quality of work.
Key Features of AVANCRETETM
1. Easier to Mix
2. Better workability
3. Faster setting
4. First 40kg packaging in Malaysia, AVANCRETETM gives
Asia Technical Centre (ATC)
ATC is one of four technical centres in the world established by LMCB's parent company, LAFARGE to support its industrial operations and conduct research and development in cement and cementitious products. ATC was created in 2001 and covers all of LAFARGE's cement operations throughout Asia.
LAFARGE's three other technical centres are located in Montreal, Canada; Vienna, Austria; and l'Isle d'Abeau, France. They work closely with the Central Laboratory, LAFARGE Research Centre, which is also located in l'Isle d'Abeau, France and provides LAFARGE with basic research for the development of all its product ranges including cement.
LAFARGE has located its Asia Technical Centre in Malaysia due to the country's good infrastructure, political stability and growing economy, as well as LAFARGE's substantial investment in the Malaysian cement industry.
About Lafarge Malayan Cement Berhad
Lafarge Malayan Cement Berhad (LMCB) is the leader of the Malaysian cement industry and a major player in the Asian export market. It was incorporated in 1950 with its first cement plant built in Malaysia in 1953.
LMCB is today the parent of a group of companies in Malaysia and Singapore whose core businesses are in the manufacturing and sale of cement, ready-mixed concrete and other related building materials.
LMCB currently employs 2000 people and operates a nationwide network of facilities, which include 3 integrated cement plants in Langkawi, Kanthan and Rawang, a grinding plant in Pasir Gudang and distribution channels by road, rail and sea.
Additional information is available on the website at www.lafargemalayancement.com.
Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in all four of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete, Roofing and Gypsum. With 80,000 employees in 76 countries, Lafarge posted sales of Euros 16 billions in 2005.
Lafarge has been committed to sustainable development for many years, pursuing a strategy that combines industrial know-how with performance, value creation, respect for employees and local cultures, environmental protection and the conservation of natural resources and energy. Lafarge is the only company in the construction materials sector to be listed in the 2006 ‘100 Global Most Sustainable Corporations in the World'. To make advances in building materials, Lafarge places the customer at the heart of its concerns. It offers the construction industry and the general public innovative solutions bringing greater safety, comfort and quality to their everyday surroundings.
Additional information is available on the web site at www.lafarge.com.
For further information, please contact:
Irene Thng Tel: 03- 76608486 Fax: 03- 76608115