Majority state-owned Oman Cement Company said on Monday it will increase its production capacity by 88 per cent to 3Mta, to meet increasing demand in local and international markets. Current output at Oman’s leading cement producer is 1.6mt annually, said Jamal Shamis al-Hooti, chief executive officer of the company. "The capital expenditure of the expansion project will largely depend on the technology," he said, adding that the cost would be met from general reserves and commercial loans.
Oman Cement achieved 71.2 per cent growth in net profit at 4.69 million rials ($12m) for the first quarter of 2005, versus 2.74 million rials in the year-ago period. The firm’s production declined to 405,267t during the first three months of 2005 from 412,260t a year ago, prompting the firm to import 41,183t to meet high demand due to several housing and infrastructure projects. Oman’s government has downsized its stake in Oman Cement to 51 per cent, after divesting 12.5 percent holding through an initial public offering last year.