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Lafarge cement stocks

Lafarge cement stocks



Lafarge involved in Iraq venture

01 July 2008

France’s Lafarge and its Iraqi partner Asiacell plan to invest around $550 million to raise cement capacity in Northern Iraq and help meet a shortage in the region.

The world’s largest cement producer already has a 65 per cent stake in an existing 7,500 tonnes a day plant at Bazyan in Iraq’s Kurdish region, Asiacell chairman Faruk Mustafa Rasool told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai.
“We will build a second line with capacity of 7,500 tonnes a day,” Rasool said, adding that the cost would be similar to the $550 million spent to build the first line.
Iraq has been working for the past three years to bring foreign investors to invest as much as $2 billion in its cement factories, but political interference and instability has delayed the effort.
The Iraqi cement industry’s total annual production, from 17 factories is between four million and five million tonnes, a fraction of its capacity of 25 million tonnes, the head of the Iraqi Cement State Company said in January.
Before the 2003 US-led invasion, Iraq produced around 10 million tonnes a year, also well below capacity due to a decade of economic sanctions.
“Our production is still not enough to meet demand,” Rasool said, adding that 20 per cent of it went to Baghdad.
Iraq imports around six million tonnes a year of cement from neighbouring Syria and Lebanon to cover consumption, the head of the state cement firm has said.
Lafarge and Asiacell operate a second plant at Tasluja with capacity of 7,000 tonnes a day after the French producer bought Orascom Cement earlier this year.




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