The Qatar National Cement Company (QNCC) has signed a QR800mn agreement with French major FCB Ciment for the building of its fourth cement manufacturing facility in Umm Bab. The agreement signing ceremony took place at the head office of the QNCC yesterday and was attended by senior officials of QNCC, FCB and their consultants, the Belgium-based Basse Sambre Engineering.
To mark the agreement, QNCC chairman and managing director Salem Butti al-Naimi and Alain Cordonnier, chief executive officer of the FCB Ciment exchanged documents relating to the terms and conditions of the contract.
As per the terms of the contract, the work – which the chairman said began yesterday – would be completed in a period of 27 months. The new plant will generate an additional 5,000 tonnes of clinker a day, said al-Naimi. With the completion of the plant, the total daily output would be more than 15,000 tonnes a day, he pointed out.
The QNCC chairman said there was a remarkable rise in the demand of cement in the Qatar because of an unprecedented construction boom.
“Qatar is progressing at a considerable pace under the wise leadership of HH The Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and the country’s economy is growing at a faster pace than ever before,” said the QNCC chairman.
Al-Naimi said the boom in construction is poised to grow further and the demand right now for cement has touched hitherto unseen heights.
The current capacities of the QNCC plants at Umm Bab need to be expanded further and the latest contract signing with FCB is one of such major initiatives, said the chairman.
He said the French company had a brilliant track record in the construction of cement manufacturing plants elsewhere and they have been associated with QNCC for more than a decade since the beginning of the first phase of the Umm Bab plant expansion.
Al-Naimi said while the first phase of expansion, which increased the capacity of the plant by 2,000 tonnes a day was completed in 17 months, the second phase, targeted at a daily capacity of 4,000 tonnes was over in 22 months.
The chairman said both the works were executed by FCB and this was one of the main reasons for selecting the company for the present work.
Al-Naimi said experience showed that the French company has superior expertise in the construction of cement plants and expressed the hope that the new work would get over in the stipulated time.
He also explained that the selection of FCB would also help in the easy availability of necessary machinery spare parts for the maintenance of the existing plants at Umm Bab.
Replying to a query by Gulf Times, al-Naimi said the current demand of cement a day was around 13,000 tonnes. As in any other field of activity, there is a lean period in construction activity too every year, and the demand for cement varies according to the level of activity, he however added.
He said that nowadays the country meets its additional demand from imports made mainly from India, Egypt and China. “With the completion of the latest facility after 27 months, Qatar will be in a position to export its cement,” he added.
Jean Pierre Polet and Pierr Van Keckhove, director-general manager and project manager respectively of Basse Sambre Engineering, too were present at the signing ceremony.