Lafarge has launched a US$200m renovation of an Iraqi plant on Thursday to boost production and achieve a bigger share of the local cement market, reports Reuters.
On a tour of the plant, one of Iraq’s biggest non-oil industrial projects in recent years, Lafarge chief executive in Iraq Marcel Cobuz said he expected that revamping the 27-year-old factory would help increase its output tenfold to 2Mta within two and half years.
"Definitely a lot of revamping is needed here," he said, referring to the factory’s dilapidated machines. "They are old, but they are working. They need to be rehabilitated and replaced by more modern ones."
"Our ambition is to have 1t out of 4t sold in Iraq," Cobuz said.
Iraq imports about 10Mt of cement each year and consumes around 15Mt, he said. The factory, located in the southern province of Kerbala, has been producing 200,000tpa of cement.