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Lucky Cement engages in joint venture projects

World Cement,

Based on a notification from the company delivered to the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) on Thursday 25 October 2012, local sources have reported that Lucky Cement has entered into several international joint investment ventures, as well as expanding its domestic business interests.

Lucky Cement’s secretary, Muhammad Abid Ganatara, said that the company has entered into joint ventures in cement plants in DR Congo, Africa, and Iraq. The notice delivered to the KSE stated that the plant and machinery for the African project are both being supplied by a “renowned European supplier” and that Lucky Cement is currently negotiating the details of the project’s financing. The notice also asserted that the company has entered into joint venture investment to fund a cement grinding facility in Iraq. The project team and civil contractors have already mobilised to the site of what is planned to be an 870 000 tpa greenfield plant.

There is currently a strong demand for Pakistani cement in Africa. With fuel costs rising though, logistical expenses can form a barrier to such import, and bringing production closer to the demand is one way around this.

Cement demand in Iraq is also generally high, with government infrastructure projects starting to emerge from the troubles that the country has experienced over the last decade. Not only would Lucky Cement’s new grinding project help to fulfil these demands, but it could also, potentially, export to the GCC countries, where demand is finally showing signs of recovering from the real estate crash of 2008.

The company’s other joint ventures are in the energy and chemicals sectors, and include a 50 MW wind farm project and diversification in the form of a share purchase agreement with chemical company, ICI Omicron B.V. for the acquisition of 75.81% percent shares in ICI Pakistan.

Written by Jack Davidson.

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