Iraq nominates companies for cement investment

Iraq nominates companies for cement investment
Published: 11 January 2008

The Iraqi government has named three companies to upgrade and invest in the country’s largest three state-owned cement enterprises under the Industry and Minerals Ministry, a senior Iraq government official said.

Around US$450m will be invested to upgrade Iraq’s ailing cement factories, deputy minister of industry and minerals Adel Kareem told Dow Jones Newswires.

The winning companies are Al Sharq al-Awsat, Al Jawhara and al-Majmoah al-Iktisadiya, Kareem said. "They are local but they are supported financially and technically by foreign companies." Eight companies bid for the 15-year-long joint venture agreements to invest in three existing cement factories. The foreign companies backing Iraqi partners are Uzein Export-Import, Lebanon’s Seament and Germany’s KHD, organizers said.

The Iraqi government will get between 30% and 45% of the total output for free. Each factory is expected to produce 1.80Mt a year after the factories are upgraded, which should take about three years.