Gulf Cement Company plans expansion

Gulf Cement Company plans expansion
Published: 19 November 2004

Gulf Cement Company (GCC) is expanding its cement capacity to 2.5Mt from 1.6Mt. The new capacity is expected to go on stream this month and the company is also investing in additional coal grinding capacity, to be commissioned by the end of this year. At present, it is one of the biggest integrated cement companies in the UAE, with a current clinker capacity of 1.3Mt and cement capacity of 1.6Mt.

Gulf Cement is expecting a capital expenditure of Dh75million this year and has also recently awarded a contract for the expansion of its clinker capacity from the current 1.3Mt to 3.7Mt to a team comprising Thyssen Krupp India and Germany’s Polysius. The funding for the Dh367million ($100m) project is expected to be met through a combination of debt and internal accruals.  The new clinker capacity is expected to go on stream in mid-2006. The plant has excellent locational advantages, being just across the road from the Mina Al Saqr port in Ras Al Khaimah.

According to sources, the high demand saw cement prices hardening during the year; averaging at about Dh250 per tonne, nearly double that in the first half of 2003. The net profit of the company went up by over 5 times to Dh67.8million in 2003 from Dh10.7million in 2002.

The government of Dubai with an aim to develop Dubai into a major international financial, trade and business hub, has taken some innovative and far-reaching steps to attract huge amounts of funds into the real estate sector.  These decisions will help rapid growth for the UAE’s cement sector as there was shortage of cement in 2003 and the prices soared last year, maintaining their upward movement in 2004 too. Although the local companies increased their production capacity, there was shortage and to overcome this problem, the government has now taken steps to facilitate cement imports to ’cool’ the soaring cement prices.