Lafarge expects signal from Azerbaijan for start of geological surveys

Lafarge expects signal from Azerbaijan for start of geological surveys
Published: 11 February 2008

Azerbaijan Investment Company and France’s Lafarge have failed to achieve any progress so far on a Baku cement factory project, despite a year has passed after they signed a relevant preliminary protocol on it.

Minister of economic development Heydar Babayev said that Lafarge’s conditions a little exceed capacity of the field located in Gobustan region nearby Baku.

“Lafarge has set two basic conditions – location of the factory within the area of Baku (100-150 km of the city) and sufficient raw materials to be enough for manufacture as minimum 100Mt of cement. They want factory construction in Gobustan, but consider that Gobustan field’s reserves are less than Lagarge demands and this is the chief problem,” Babayev said.

Azerbaijan proposed Lafarge to conduct geological surveys there.

“It demands certain budget from AIC and Lafarge. They expect signal from us on the basis of which they can carry out exploration on the field and single from juridical and technical angles to survey this territory and justify their investment decisions,” the minister said.

Lafarge declined finally from use of a field in Tovuz region and location of its future cement enterprise there. In this connection it is going to make choice between the fields in Garadagh district of Baku or adjoining Gobustan district.

Under the primary estimate, factory’s capacity can be 1-1.5Mt that makes 40-50% of Azerbaijani cement market in case investments of EUR150-200m are made in the project. Lafarge, Ministry of Economic Development and AIC signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the project on December 28, 2006.