The Egyptian government said on Monday it had begun receiving applications for licences to build greenfield cement factories in two underdeveloped areas after failing to attract bids there in a licensing auction in October.
Amr Assal, chairman of the Industrial Development Authority, told Reuters a decision had been taken to re-offer the licences for factories in Sohag in southern Egypt and in the New Valley in the Western Desert after four companies showed interest.
"We had already received two applications," he said, without disclosing the names of the interested companies.
Assal said the deadline for applications was Dec. 6 and that only new market players would be allowed to bid. Authorised production capacity for the new licences will be 1.5Mta for each.
"Any company which already got a licence or owns a cement factory won’t be allowed in. We want to expand the market for new players and stimulate competition," he added.
The Egyptian government first offered the licences on Oct. 28, when it granted six licences to set up greenfield cement plants in other parts of the country, but received no bids for licences on offer in Sohag and New Valley.