Lafarge will open a cement factory in Saudi Arabia and a readymix concrete factory in Abu Dhabi, said its chairman.
"We have readymix concrete plants in Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman and we will start a new one in Abu Dhabi. The factory is under construction and we expect to start production early next year," said Bruno Lafont Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
"We are also pursuing the opening of a cement factory in Saudi Arabia."
The Middle East is an important market, he said. "The UAE is one to two percentage of our business and the MENA region is 10% of our total markets," he added.
"We are not in a hurry, but are looking at this region carefully since it is an important region for us."
The readymix plant will be based in Mussafah, Emirates Business reported. Grant Earnshaw, Managing director, Lafarge Concretes and Aggregates, Middle East, said: "We have all the land sorted out and the company formation will be pursued from 1 February. We will take consideration of the market conditions and will put capacity to suit those conditions.
"Readymix is an easy business where we can stage capacity. When we start next month, we will look at a mixture of our partners’ work on the major projects and then start work on the retail."
Though reports in the media have specified the companies, he did not confirm the names involved in the venture. "As of this point, we have not signed any formal documents and hence it would not be fair to comment," he added.
Last year, Lafarge hit headlines when it acquired the Egypt-based Orascom Cement in a US$12.8 billion deal.
"The readymix factory in the Northern Emirates is known as Readymix Gulf and is an associate of Lafarge. All Middle East joint ventures are fully integrated and the Lafarge systems and value-added products are being rolled out into all the businesses in 2009. They are fully being managed by Lafarge," said Earnshaw.