Egypt is targeting to start an international bidding process to grant cement licences by the middle of this year, the head of the country’s Industrial Development Authority (IDA) said on Monday.
"We’re presenting the case to the High (Supreme) Council of Energy to get their blessing," said Amr Assal, chairman of IDA in an interview. "Afterwards, we will announce the international bidding process," he told Reuters in an interview.
Asked whether the bidding would start by the middle of the year, Assal said: "This is our target, June-July."
The country will be offering eight licences with 1.5Mt of capacity, he said, adding that so far 12 companies had formally expressed their interest in the licences.
Of these, seven were Egyptian and among the rest there were Chinese, Turkish and Italian companies.
Egypt granted six greenfield cement factory licences in late 2007 in a bid to boost production after rising local prices drove the government to impose an export duty in February.