Egypt will offer licences in the first half of this year to build eight cement factories with capacity of 1.5Mt each, Trade Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid said on Wednesday.
Rachid told Reuters he hoped the new plants would start production in 2014 or 2015, to help meet growing domestic consumption which rose 16 per cent last year.
"This created the need for more capacity in the next few years for that," he said in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.
"...We are going to offer about eight new licences, each one (for) a million and a half million tonnes of cement. That should happen within the first half of this year."
Earlier this month Rachid told the Al-Alam al-Youm newspaper Egypt was planning to 12 licences to build cement factories in 2010 to meet growing local demand.
Industrial Development Authority chairman Amr Assal said at the time the energy supply needed to run the plants required approval before the 12 licences could ban be offered.
Rachid said on Wednesday domestic consumption in Egypt had grown to almost 60Mt, "and we are anticipating growth of around 10 per cent".
Egypt’s construction industry has continued to grow in the wake of the global economic crisis, even as it stalled elsewhere in the region.