The Dammam-based Al-Muhaidib and Sons Group, said it has invested US$320m in the Badia Cement Co, a joint project with Italcementi, a global cement firm, and a group of Syrian and Arab investors. In late 2008, China’s CBMI and Badia Cement signed a memorandum of understanding, under which the former will build 3.2 million tons a year cement plant near Damascus.
"The Badia plant will be one of the largest private sector cement plants to be set up in Syria," Imad Abdel-Kader al-Muhaidib, Vice Chairman said. "The plant is expected to meet local demand for cement and could potential allow Syria to become a cement exporter in the future."
Badia cement will be 85 percent owned by the consortium and the reaming 15 percent of the company’s shares are expected to be floated on the Syrian Stock Exchange sometime in 2009, Muhaidib said.
Officials say the recent licensing of the plant comes in line with the government’s plans to expand its cement industry. The plant is expected to come online in 2010. Badia Cement is the first private cement company to be granted a license in Syria.
Syria has witnessed substantial growth recently in its real estate sector and demand for construction materials is on the rise. From only one cement plant in 1993, Syria now boats 12 cement factories that are estimated to produce an annual 5.3Mt of cement.
Source: The Daily Star 2009.