Saudi orders cement imports to meet shortages

Saudi orders cement imports to meet shortages
Published: 17 April 2013


King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has ordered 10Mt of cement to be imported into the kingdom to meet cement shortages and the construction of more cement plants over the medium-term is also being encouraged.

Citing trade minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah, the Saudi Press Agency, reports that King Abdullah wants three to four cement plants to be built over the next three years and has granted SAR3bn towards the scheme.

The Saudi cement industry has quickly grown to support high consumption and it continues to expand to keep pace with demand led by government-driven investment in the infrastructure and real estate sectors. There are now 17 grey cement producers with 22 plants operating in the country. The combined cement production capacity of Saudi Arabia is currently around 56Mta and is led by seven companies controlling over 75 per cent of the market.

Cement capacity has been rising quickly and it is now expected to reach 66Mta by 2014, rising to 71Mt in 2015-16.

Capacity utilisation was estimated at 95 per cent in 2012 and is expected to remain at this level over the 2013-14 period.