India’s JK Cement has started construction of a white cement plant in the UAE, the completion of which could make it a top five player in the niche market of white cement.
The company’s vice president N. Gowrishankar told Gulf News that the new plant, to be constructed in the emirate of Fujairah, will involve an investment of US$149.7m and a capacity of 0.6Mta of white cement, with the ability to switch operations to 1Mta of grey cement. The plant is scheduled for commissioning in 2013.
Following the completion of this plant, combined with JK Cement’s existing white plant in India, the company is forecast to have a white cement capacity of 1Mta and the potential to become a top five player in the white cement sector, according to CemNet research.
Gowrishankar also noted that the new cement plant would help boost the UAE's cement production and help construction sectors in the GCC, mainly Saudi and Qatar.
The Middle East is estimated to be responsible for 16 per cent of global white cement demand. It has the highest per capita usage of 12.2kg. The Gulf States in particular show a very high intensity of usage, with UAE consuming 45kg per capita, Qatar 54kg, Kuwait 27kg and Saudi Arabia 22kg.