Egypt opened bidding for two cement production licences on Monday but will not allow existing cement firms in Egypt to bid in an effort to boost competition and bring down prices, the industrial authority said.
The two licences will replace ones that had been held by El Wadi Cement and North Sinai Cement but which were cancelled late last year over start-up delays and financing shortfalls. Both firms were granted their licences in 2007.
“Companies that were given licences in 2007 or are currently producing cement will not be allowed to enter the game for these two licences,” Amr Assal, head of the Industrial Development Authority, told Reuters. “We want new competitors.”
The licences will be for projects in North Sinai, east of Cairo, and El Wadi to the southwest. The authorities earlier said the two firms which lost licences might be allowed to submit a new bid, but Mr. Assal has since said they would be excluded.
Egypt would welcome participation from industrial firms that might have operations elsewhere or in other building materials, but no existing cement firms in Egypt would be allowed to participate. The bidding will close in early July.