Lafarge will begin the construction of a cement plant with a capacity of 2Mta in the Jizak region (central part of the country) in the second half of 2012, said Akbar Mukhitdinov, general manager of the Uzstroymaterialy joint stock company, which includes enterprises producing building materials in the country.
"The French company received a license for exploration and will begin studying the existing resource base for the construction of the plant by the end of May," said Mukhitdinov.
According to him, the French company may complete the exploration by mid-2012, and from next summer it will begin to develop the field and construct the cement plant. It will be completed within three years.
In July 2010, Lafarge and Uzstroymaterialy signed an agreement of intent to jointly build a dry-process cement production plant. The construction is estimated at US$250m.
Earlier it was reported that during 2007-10, the Russian firm TBK Invest was planning to build a plant worth US$460m with a capacity of three million tons per year in the Jizak region. However, later the Russian company refused the project due to financial problems.
According to Uzstroymaterialy, three cement plants worth approximately US$290m and a total capacity of 2.36Mt are currently being constructed in Uzbekistan.
At present, Uzbekistan has six cement plants with a total installed capacity of about 7Mt. The largest of them are Kyzylkumcement (3.1Mt), Akhangarancement (1.74Mt) and Kuvasaycement (920,000t).
According to official statistics, cement production in Uzbekistan in 2010 increased by 0.3% compared with 2009, to 6.872Mt.