Introduction

Steppe Cement Ltd is the Malaysian-incorporated holding company of the two operating companies, Karcement J.S.C., and Central Asia Cement J.S.C., that form the cement manufacturing complex at Karaganda in central Kazakhstan.

Steppe Cement was listed on the AIM in London in September 2005 and raised US$21 million by the issue of 14 million new shares in March 2006 in order to finance its the refurbishment of two large dry-process kilns.

Its subsidiary, Karcement J.S.C., completed the Line 6 refurbishment project in October 2008. Karcement J.S.C. received all the necessary licenses for commencement of commercial operations in the first quarter 2009.

In May 2009, Steppe Cement successfully raised USD10 million before expenses by way of an Offer for Subscription ("Offer") of 40 million new ordinary shares at 25 pence per share conditionally underwritten. The Offer shares were admitted to AIM for dealing on 11 May 2009.

In July 2009, the merger between Steppe Cement Holdings B.V. and Central Asia Cement Holding B.V. was completed. The purpose of the merger is to rationalise the Dutch investment holding entities to achieve future cost savings as the Kazakhstan operations are consolidated under the Dutch investment holding company, Steppe Cement Holdings B.V.

In Nov 2010, Steppe Cement raised USD10 million via the issuance of 25 million new ordinary at 40p per share shares in the Offer for Subscription. A major portion of the proceeds raised were used to partially redeem the bonds due in Aug 2011 and the remaining for working capital purposes. The admission of the new shares commenced on 1 Nov 2010.

In Dec 2012, Steppe Cement raised USD 10 million via the issuance of 40 million new ordinary at 25p per share shares primarily to finance the refurbishment of Line 5. The new shares commenced dealing on 10 December 2012.

The new line was completed in June 2014 and increased Steppe Cement's annual production capacity by an additional 1.2 million tonnes.

From 2014 to 2016, production steadily increased to 1.7 million tonnes. Current capacity in 2017 in the dry lines is 1.8 million tonnes and it will be increased to 2 million tonnes by 2020.

In 2014, Steppe Cement purchased a fleet of 330 new cement hoppers for transportation.

In 2015, Steppe Cement upgraded the cement mills in stages to increase monthly milling capacity to 250,000 tonnes and commissioned electronic weigh bridges for all wagons and trucks loading points.

In 2016, Steppe Cement installed a new line to pack big bags of 1 tonne each inclusive of logistical support.

In November 2017, Steppe Cement will repay its remaining bond listed in the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange and the outstanding debts are estimated at USD 15 million.

In 2018, Steppe Cement plans to install a new cement packing line for 25 and 50 kg bags with a capacity of 1,000 bags per hour inclusive of logistical support facilities for two wagons direct loading simultaneously and one truck loading. The new facility has the ability the palletize the cement bags once the demand develops in the country.