With contracts between FLSmidth and newcomer Arabian Cement, Egypt in place, work is about to commence on a US$60m contract that will see the first clinker being produced in just 23 months, possibly less, said a spokesman. This new greenfield plant located close to the main Cairo to Suez road will initially comprise one 6000tpd clinker line only. Engineering of this new line will be supervised by a team from FLSmidth and a recently formed local Egyptian group which includes ex-ASEC personnel.
Owners of the new plant are a combined Spanish-Egyptian group backed by a banking consortium and successful independent producer, Cementos La Union, based in Valencia, Spain. Much of the clinker produced will be shipped out from a terminal close to Suez and sold in Spain and possibly a new grinding facility in France, with La Union’s total market requirements put at close to 2Mt. In fact if successful it is not difficult to visualise this new Arabian Cement company including a second clinker line in the not too distant future.
Although the emphasis is on clinker production only, more than likely, a new cement mill of some 0.5Mta will be included to coincide with the production of the first clinker, with possibly as much as 250,000t to 500,000t being sold locally in a market that also shows good growth potential.
Bucking recent trends, Arabian Cement’s backers have chosen proven European-based technology as against Chinese Sinoma supply, citing difficulties in negotiating with the Chinese in an Egyptian setting, against which FLSmidth has lots of proven experience in building successful cement plants throughout Egypt and within the middle East region.