Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries’ (OCI) Algerian subsidiary expects to almost double its cement output by June to meet rising demand, a senior executive said on Monday. "We are now producing 2.2 million tonnes of cement, and we will reach 4.2 million tonnes of cement by June this year," Hocine Nemsi, marketing director of the Algerian Cement Company, told Reuters.
There is enormous demand for cement as Algeria’s government, facing a nationwide housing shortage, seeks to meet a target to build one million apartment units by 2009. By June, Orascom expects to cover 30 per cent of the Algerian demand for cement.
Total demand is currently at 12.1 million tonnes per year but is expected to grow 5-6 per cent this year. There are 11 state-owned cement firms operating in the country. "We can cover the needs of the Algerian market, but we need to get approval from the Algerian authorities to upgrade our output capacities," Nemsi.
Algerian Cement Company also plans to export. "Right now we will export cement to some African countries. We will start by selling 100,000t to Mali and Mauritania," he said.