Albania’s cement producer Fushe Kruje has opened on a US$130m state-of-the-art production line to cease imports of clinker and raise production.
"The construction works have been completed three months ago and started test production," Shadi Dahdale, Fushe Kruje general administrator told local press.
This is the largest foreign direct investment in Albania’s manufacturing industry since the country’s transition to a market economy began in the early 1990s.
Albania’s government awarded to Fushe Kruje a build-own-operate (BOO) concession to build the production line in February last year.
The line was financed jointly by the cement producer Fushe Kruje, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which provided $30m, the World Bank’s private sector arm IFC with $30m, Greece’s Alpha Bank - $10m and the OPEC Fund for Reconstruction and Development - $18m.
The dry process line has 1.3Mta output capacity.
The Fushe Kruje plant, located in western Albania, is 99 per cent controlled by the Lebanese cement group Seament, which also runs the Elbasan cement plant in central Albania.
Meanwhile, Greece’s Titan Cement has applied for a local authority licence to build a cement factory in Albania, sources close to the matter said.
Titan already has production facilities in Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and wants to expand its Balkan presence in the Albania market where cement demand is growing rapidly.