The Azerbaijan Investment Company (AIC) signed an agreement on Feb. 13 with Holcim after purchasing a 10 per cent participation share in the capital of Garadagh Cement plant, where Holcim is the key shareholder. The participation totaled US$20m (EUR13.7m).
Shareholders of the cement plant include: Holcim - 69.4 per cent, Azerbaijan Investment Company - 10 per cent, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development - 10 per cent, and individual shareholders - 10.6 per cent.
Azerbaijan’s Minister of Economic Development, Heydar Babayev, said the contract is the initial stage of cooperation with Holcim and will attract other foreign investors to Azerbaijan’s economy.
The agreement covers several targets, including investing in the non-oil sector of the country, said AIC executive director, Anar Akhundov.
The Regional Manager for CIS countries and Caspian Region, Harold Babs, considers Azerbaijan’s market very attractive because of its rapidly development and positive prospects.
It was for that reason that Holcim’s Board of Directors decided to invest $440m (EUR300m), he said.
Currently, negotiations are being held with the Azerbaijani government to acquire production rights in quarries in the Garadagh region, Babs said.
The project envisages increasing the volume of the production to 4000tpd of clinker and 1.7Mta of cement.
The planned construction of a new plant is in the Garadag region.
The initial conditions to take part in the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development were signed with Garadagh Cement