Algeria is moving towards "self-sufficiency in cement and steel products thanks to the new facilities to be operational in the short term," Minister of Industry and Mines, Abdeslam Bouchouareb has said.
During a meeting with local economic operators in Biskra prefecture, the minister said: Algeria "will manage to cover its needs and even over produce by 2016." It will be the first time since independence that the country will cease to import cement, the Algerie Presse Service quoted him as saying.
The entry of two new cement plants in the province of Biskra, with a total capacity of 4Mta together with existing plants meet the demand of the domestic cement market, Bouchouareb stressed.
New plants now under construction include a number of investments by state owned Groupe Industriel des Ciments d’Algérie (GICA). In addition, the private sector is also investing. In the commune of Branis, the Minister had laid the first stone of a private 1Mta cement plant, 'La biskrie des ciments'.
At the start of 2014, Algeria's traditional production base had 20Mta capacity and had produced some 18.5Mt in 2013, with some usage of waste fuels. One year later, domestic cement capacity had steadily increased to just short of 23Mta and output rose to 21.10Mt. With production continuing its upward trend, there will be a gradual availability of surplus cement for the export market.