Egypt’s Trade Ministry will offer 12 licences to build cement factories in 2010 to meet growing local demand, Al-Alam al-Youm newspaper quoted Trade Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid on Saturday as saying. "The new factories would help meet an expected increase in local demand until 2020, when annual production capacity is expected to rise to 77Mt from 58Mt now," the newspaper commented.
Egypt’s construction industry has continued to grow in the wake of the global economic crisis, even as it stalled elsewhere in the region. Demand for cement was expected to grow by 25 to 30 percent in 2009, Rachid said in September.
The head of the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), which is attached to the Ministry of Trade, said a government body must still approve the energy supply needed to run the plants before the 12 licences can be offered.
"The request for the licences from our ministry is still before the Higher Council of Energy, which is headed by the prime minister," IDA chairman Amr Assal told Reuters. Egypt has already granted six new greenfield cement factory licences in October 2007 in a bid to boost production following in an increase in local prices.