Syria plans increase in cement production to match building needs
Syria plans to boost cement production by 60 percent to eight million tons per year to meet building needs, newspapers and industrialists said Sunday, July 22. The official ath-Thawra daily said an Iranian firm would soon start building a one million-ton per year cement factory near the central city of Hama.
A private Syrian-Egyptian-Saudi company has also been set up to build another cement factory, according to the newspaper.
Ath-Thawra said Syria plans to boost its cement production capacity from the current five million to eight million tons per year. The paper did not set a timeframe for the increase, but did say that the Iranian-built plant will go on stream in three years.
The factory planned near Hama will be set up by Iran's Ehdas Sanat Company, at the cost of $198 million, according to industry sources who said the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) will contribute $70 million to the project.
The Syrian-Egyptian-Saudi venture plant is planned in Abu Shamat, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Damascus, at a cost of $540 million, said the same sources, adding that the Hassan Allam group is one of the Egyptian partners. Prince Khaled Bin Fahd Bin Nasser Bin Abdul Aziz is among the Saudis.
A study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has estimated the current local demand on cement is more than six million-tons per year, rising to 11.5 million-tons per year in 2005.
Syria bans cement imports, although it ceased to be self-sufficient in cement in the early eighties. ― (AFP, Damascus)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)