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Lebanese cement production soars

World Cement,

Cement production in Lebanon has tripled from 2 milliion t in 2006 to 6 million t in 2011. The majority of this cement production is used domestically, with some 5 million tpa being supplied by three key cement plants. The remaining 1 million tpa is exported, primarily to Syria and Iraq. One of these cement producers is Cimenterie Nationale, who in addition to being the Lebanon’s largest cement producer and the largest exporter, with a production capacity of over 2.8 million tpa and a capital of US$100 million.

At the recent INTERCEM conference held in Beirut, the caretaker Industry Minister, Apraham Dedeyan commented, “Lebanese cement manufacturing has a number of distinct qualities, chief among them are its quality that adheres to international standards, its reasonable prices and its developed manufacturing techniques.” He added that the Lebanese cement production benefits from beneficial weather conditions, as well as from the country’s proximity to oil-producing Arab Gulf states.

The caretaker Finance Minister recently decided to cut income taxes by 35% on owners of industrial enterprises, a decision that was hailed by Nemat Frem, the president of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, who noted that the sector “was in great need of incentives”.  This comes as experts are noting a strong competition within Lebanon from oil-producing cement manufacturers such as the ones in Saudi Arabia, who through lower production costs, provide cheaper cement.

The president of the AUCBM, Ahmad Russan commented that a lasting real estate boom in the Gulf Arab countries means that demand for cement will spiral upwards in coming years, and that he expected “[cement] production in our region to reach 300 million tpa, in spite of the fact that we live under difficult circumstances, however [the cement industry] is moving”.

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