COLOMBIA - Real Estate & Construction
President & Director, CEMEX Colombia
Alejandro Ramírez is President of CEMEX Colombia and Peru. He is an industrial engineer from Tecnológico de Monterrey and has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He joined CEMEX 20 years ago as director of corporate strategic planning. He spent four years in Asia, where he served as vice president of planning in the Philippines and later as president of CEMEX in Thailand. Before his arrival in Colombia, he was in charge of CEMEX’s businesses in Puerto Rico and Costa Rica as well as the general management of Trinidad Cement Limited. Also, he assumed the leadership of the Caribbean cluster, which includes CEMEX Dominicana, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and the Bahamas.
Despite the challenges because of the COVID-19, construction sector showed it resilience and its relevance related with the role of being an economic trigger, in charge of developing projects even during crisis. That is why perspectives are fairly positive. First, Colombia’s housing sector, both formal and informal, is extremely dynamic. The formal housing sector set a record of sales in 2020, and we started this year with very positive outcomes. Regarding infrastructure, the building projects never stopped for a long-term period, so we continued providing materials and services to our customers, while local and national governments made new investments for infrastructure development. Even if the office building market will be stagnant maybe for long, we are positive regarding 2021 results, thanks to a positive forecast of housing, infrastructure, and commercial demand.
One of our expertise areas at a global level is infrastructure. CEMEX specialized products and technical support makes our company a top option for the infrastructure market. Significant examples of this are some projects in Colombia we are providing materials to, for example Estación Elevadora Canoas, Autopista Río Magdalena, Ruta 40 (Bogotá — Girardot) and Cúcuta — Pamplona tunnel. In which regards VIP or VIS projects we are working in significant projects such as Reserva de Fontibón 1-2 (Bogotá), Puerta Dorada (Barranquilla) and Brisas de Torcoroma (Cúcuta). For infrastructure and housing development, we offer the most competitive and comprehensive offer of products and building solutions. Our portfolio includes both hard materials as cement, concrete, aggregates, and additives, as well as hardware store products, via our Construrama network in Colombia. In addition to our offer of products, CEMEX also provides advanced technical support through CEMEX High Tech, our advisory scheme to help our customers make better decisions, offering our global experience for their building projects. This innovative model makes possible to our customers to count on our support during the development of the whole project.
Sustainability is one of our north stars at CEMEX, that is why one of our top global commitments is to be part of a solution regarding the challenge of climate change. In 2020 the company announced a new Climate Action strategy, which outlines the company´s vision to advance towards a carbon-neutral economy. As a result of our global efforts to date, we have reduced our net specific CO2 emissions by more than 22% compared to our 1990 baseline. We have defined a more ambitious target of a 35% reduction of net specific CO2 emissions by 2030. To complement this strategy with a longer-term vision, CEMEX is also establishing a new ambition to deliver net-zero CO2 concrete by 2050, for the development of climate-smart urban projects, sustainable buildings, and resilient infrastructure. A consequence of the above is Vertua concrete and cement. Both products point to a reduction of CO2 emissions during the process of production, from 20% to a full reduction both thanks to zero emissions or offset projects. Thanks to Vertua, Colombian building sector now counts with the possibility of developing low-carbon projects and decreasing their footprint.
Colombia is the fourth or fifth-largest operation of CEMEX worldwide depending on the product and is the biggest operation in the South and Central America and the Caribbean region. Furthermore, CEMEX is committed to Colombia so we are building an integral cement plant in Maceo, which is a significant investment and will be completed in 2022. We will be employing 700 people for the remaining works of this project.
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