Building Progress And Support For Cities And The World - Dimitrije Knjeginjić CEO of Lafarge Serbia, talks to Forbes Magazine
A Member Of Holcim Group – The World Leader In Cement, Aggregates, And Concrete
Building Progress And Support For Cities And The World
Lafarge Serbia’s commitment to a CO2 net-zero company with high-quality service and a wide range of products makes it the partner of choice in construction.
As the world leader in construction materials - cement, aggregates, and concrete Lafarge has been operating in Serbia since 2002, entering the Serbian market via the acquisition of the Beočin Cement Plant. “Beočin Plant is one of the oldest cement plants in the world, this year we will celebrate 183 years of cement production,” says Dimitrije Knjeginjic, CEO of Lafarge Serbia “When you look at the number of projects we have carried out, our role in building cities has been fundamental, going back to the very first project, the chain bridge in Budapest 1839, when Beočin marl was used for the erection of the chain bridge between Pest and Budim. Tens of millions of tons of produced cement and concrete have been used for the construction of numerous buildings in Serbia such as the Djerdap Hydropower Plant, Avala Tower, Ada Bridge, Beška Bridge, Corridors 10 and 11, Pupin Bridge, Cibuk Wind Farm, Belgrade-Budapest Railroad, and many other buildings for housing and business purposes. With Beočin cement we even built all other factories in Serbia/Yugoslavia that are our competitors. Lafarge Serbia currently operates in two business sectors: cement and ready-mix concrete and due to the Beočin cement plant’s capacity for 1.5 million tons of cement per year as well as several RMX plants scattered around the country, the company is truly leading the way in the production of cement and fresh concrete.
Lafarge is Serbia’s largest provider of sustainable construction materials and a member of the Holcim Group, a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, enabling greener cities, smarter infrastructure, and improving living standards around the world. With sustainability at the core of its strategy, they are set on becoming a net-zero company, keeping its people and communities at the heart of its success. “We are well advanced in CO2 reduction both in concrete and cement,” explains Knjeginjic. “Currently, we introduced new products on the market with 30% to 50% in CO2 reduction, which is critical for our industry in general. While leading the way in this aspect in Serbia by developing a portfolio of green products, capacity-wise we can respond to any project demand.” Adding to this, Lafarge Serbia is driving the circular economy to build more with less and is setting itself up to be a part of a future driven by alternative fuels. It looks to continue its efforts by convincing all its partners to join them on its green trajectory.
The company’s key efforts include building a 26 MW photovoltaic power plant in Beočin, shifting from diesel-powered trucks to natural gas-powered trucks in 2023. Its products for road stabilization and construction demolition waste will remain in focus in years to come. “The nature of our products and projects means that we are present everywhere,” declares Knjeginjic. “Today, we are present on three highways, the Belgrade road ring, and two bridges crossing the Danube. We have just finished the Belgrade-Novi Sad railway project and now we are due to deliver materials on the Novi Sad-Subotica railway line.”
Lafarge Serbia applies high standards to corporate governance to assure the long-term value and success of the company in the interests of various stakeholder groups: customers, shareholders, employees, creditors, suppliers, and the communities in which it operates. “We are very happy with the level of collaboration with the local community, the province of Vojvodina, the Republic, and with all institutions,” says Knjeginjic. “We work in full transparency and very closely with the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, relevant ministries, authorities, and other partners.” Lafarge Serbia is a company that thrives upon diversity and inclusion, valuing human rights and local communities, while building and cementing a vision grounded in the prosperity of Serbia and the world.
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