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ASEC Cement forges ahead with expansion projects in Algeria and Egypt

World Cement,

Citadel Capital has announced that ASEC Cement is continuing with capacity expansion plans at the Zahana plant in Algeria following completion of an overhaul at the Zahana Cement Company. ASEC is also due to begin commissioning at a new greenfield clinker plant in Minya, Egypt.

Zahana Cement Company

ASEC Cement has completed an overhaul of the Zahana Cement Company, its Algerian subsidiary, after taking over management of the Zahana plant in 2008. Since this time, capacity at the plant has increased from 650 000 t to 900 000 tpa of cement. ASEC Cement owns a 35% equity stake in Zahana in partnership with the Algerian government.

A US$30 million project to construct a new raw mill at the plant has begun. This will increase the plant’s clinker capacity to around 1.2 million tpa when it becomes operational in 2014. Plans for a new 1.5 million tpa line are also underway, with completion predicted for 2015. Following these additional expansion activities, the plant will have a 2.7 million tpa clinker capacity and a 3 million tpa cement capacity.

Speaking of the expansion plans, ASEC Cement CEO, Giorgio Bodo stated: “This substantial intervention will lead to a 20% year-on-year increase in the production of both clinker and cement. Moreover, the deployment of new bag filters as part of the upgrade has dramatically lessened the plant’s environmental footprint.”

Arab National Cement Company

ASEC is also due to start commissioning of the Arab National Cement Company (ANCC) clinker greenfield plant in Minya, Egypt. ASEC holds a 45% stake in ANCC. Civil works at the 1.9 million tpa greenfiled plant were completed in 2011, however, progress was delayed following political turmoil in the region. A recovery plan is now in place to ensure that mechanical and steel installations are completed by 3Q12. The US$335 million plant, which is expected to begin production in 1Q13, will create 400 jobs directly and 1500 jobs indirectly.

“We have concluded a contract to connect ANCC to the national electrical grid, and works are now underway on a 42-kilometer transmission line that will connect the plant to the Samalloot power station. ANCC has also secured the natural gas connection and water supply for the project, and infrastructure work is in progress,” said Bodo, commenting on the progress of the Minya project.

Adapted from press release by Louise Fordham.

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