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TAQA Arabia and ASEC Cement inaugurate Sudanese power-generation joint venture

World Cement,

ASEC Cement and TAQA Arabia, both companies of Citadel Capital, the leading private equity firm in the Middle East and Africa with US$ 8.3 billion in investments under control, announced today the official inauguration of Berber for Electrical Power.

Berber for Electrical Power’s 42 MW power generation operation is now providing all of the electricity needs of Takamol, ASEC Cement’s 1.6 million tpa greenfield cement plant in Sudan, under a 20-year offtake agreement. Takamol is located 14 km west of Fahalb on the west bank of the River Nile.

Fifty-one percent of Berber, a US$ 67 million facility, is held by Global Energy (TAQA Arabia’s power arm), which brings in its technical knowhow and management expertise as a licensed company for power generation and distribution.

“I am very pleased to announce that Global Energy is inaugurating Berber for Electrical Power on time and on budget,” noted TAQA Arabia Chief Executive Officer Khaled Abubakr. “This is an important component of our regional expansion strategy, and it has been a delight to work with our counterparts at ASEC Cement on this important project. I would like to extend special thanks and appreciation to the Sudanese government for its assistance.”

TAQA Arabia has already established a footprint across several MENA countries through its gas arm, Abubakr added. TAQA Arabia is Citadel Capital’s Platform Company for investment in the energy distribution sector across the Middle East and Africa, with a focus on gas and electricity distribution as well as the storage and distribution of refined products.

Dr. Magdy Saleh, Managing Director of Global Energy, noted that the company’s engineers will continue to operate and maintain the heavy-fuel-oil-fired plant. The agreement is the first major milestone in Global Energy’s regional expansion drive, and the company will continue to look for attractive regional investment opportunities going forward.

“Our now-operating clinker line is powered by Berber, and we look forward to bringing the entire plant on stream in June 2010,” said ASEC Cement CEO Giorgio Bodo. “Locking in our energy supply with a trusted partner such as TAQA Arabia has given us considerable peace of mind as we have concluded operational testing and begun the commissioning process.”

ASEC Cement, a Portfolio Company of ASEC Holding, is Citadel Capital’s platform investment for a leading regional cement production group that will control 12 million tons of cement per annum by 2013 in six countries spanning from Algeria to Iraq-Kurdistan.

Takamol is the most technologically advanced cement production plant in Sudan and will focus on serving significant un-met demand in that nation’s fast-growing cement market.

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