Four investors compete for a cement project at Djelfa

Four investors compete for a cement project at Djelfa
Published: 30 August 2006

The growing demands of the Algerian cement market has promptewd four investors competing to obtain a transaction of a grey cement factory project in Ain El Bell, Djelfa. The four investors are from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt and an Algerian-Iranian joint venture.According to the technical specification, the factory is designed around 1.5Mta cement and for the cost of US$200m.

Saudi sources said earlier that president of the Cement Arab Union, Prince Sultan Bin Mohamed Bin Saud El Kebir, sought to set up a joint Saudi Algerian Factory to produce cement in the Algerian high plateaus. Some 90 per cent of its shares will belong to the Saudis and only 10 per cent for Algerians.

Furthermore, Iranians are also interested in this project. Managing Director of the Iranian Trade Centre in Algiers Mehdi Abdi revealed, early this month, that there are some negotiations underway about common projects in cement and building sector. He underscored that the Iranian Offers are definitely serious, as Iranian businessmen and investors are seeking to expand their business in the Algerian market. The same source estimates the Iranian’s offer is about €200m  to achieve a cement factory project in Ain El Bell. Bringing the factory into completion will be by early 2008. It will provide nearly 500 job opportunities and a production of 1.5Mt of cement to help raise the national production of more than 16Mta.

Currently, Algeria’s imports of cement is estimated to US$ 40m a year. It is expected to decrease to US$12m next year with an increase in local production. Algeria needs approximately 15Mt of cement yearly to achieve the project of million and two hundred thousand houses and flats adopted by President Bouteflika as part of the development and economic revival program, which is allocated US$80bn.