Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) has announced that it has established Syrian Cement Company, which will construct a greenfield cement plant in Northwest Syria with a production capacity of 2Mta. OCI owns 75 per cent of the new company with the remaining shares held by Mas Economic Group, headed by Mr. Ferras Tellas, a prominent local businessman.
The new plant will primarily cater to the domestic market which is in deficit and the production capacity may be increased to 3Mt at a later date. During 2006, Syria consumed a total of 6.2Mt of cement of which 2Mt were imported from surrounding regional markets. OCI expects to be one of the first private sector cement producers in Syria. The plant will be located near the City of Aleppo also known as Halab which is approximately 25km from the Turkish border and 500km north of Damascus. The investment cost for this new greenfield plant is expected to reach approximately US$ 440 million. With the addition of this new greenfield the OCI Cement Group will have a total production capacity of 39Mt in 2009.
OCI Chief Executive Officer, Nassef Sawiris commented “The Syrian cement market is expected to witness around 8-10 per cent annual growth in cement consumption over the next several years. Syria represents a fast growing economy with good population demographics making it an attractive market for OCI. We expect our greenfield plant
to be operational by late 2009.”
Mr. Sawiris added “OCI has 18Mt of new capacity under construction and expects to commission 10Mtof capacity during the next six months in Northern Iraq, Algeria and United Arab Emirates. 2007 will be a transformational for OCI.“