ASEC Cement subsidiary, ASEC Minya announces first clinker production at its newest greenfield cement plant in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Minya with cement production to follow in one month
Citadel Capital, the leading investment company in Africa and the Middle East with investments of US$ 9.5 billion, announced today that ASEC Minya (formerly the Arab National Cement Company), a key subsidiary of portfolio company ASEC Cement, has started the production of clinker at its 2.0 MPTA cement plant in Minya. Cement production is expected to commence within one month.
The US$ 360 million greenfield plant has implemented the most advanced technology in cement and clinker manufacturing and is in strict adherence with international environmental standards. The high-quality Portland Grey cement that ASEC Minya will produce will capitalize on the abundance of limestone in the Minya governorate. As the only cement plant in Minya producing Grey cement, ASEC Minya is perfectly positioned to serve other high-demand markets across Upper Egypt. The plant has created 400 direct and 800 indirect jobs in Minya at a time when the Egyptian economy is struggling to regain strength post-revolution.
“We are extremely proud to have been able to see this project through to completion despite the challenging operational environment,” said ASEC Cement CEO Giorgio Bodo. “Security issues, fuel scarcity and a general environment of instability resulted in major setbacks and required us to come up with creative ways of ensuring that the project did not come to a halt.”
ASEC Minya will be connected to the national grid via a 42-kilometer transmission line that connects the plant to the Samalloot power station. A slow regulatory approval process will not allow the plant to have a connection to the electrical grid until the end of 2013 but in the meantime ASEC Minya has come up with a temporary solution with rented generators to provide power to the plant.
Construction on the plant began in December 2010 but work on site was interrupted one month later due to the Egyptian Revolution. In order to make up for lost time, ASEC Cement came up with a recovery plan that allowed it to arrive at clinker production in an impressive 28 months.
“These are very commendable results per se and absolutely outstanding given the situation in the country post-revolution,” said Bodo.
Located 200 kilometers south of Cairo and 50 kilometers north of the city of Minya, ASEC Minya is the second greenfield cement plant to be launched by ASEC Cement in 5 years. The first was Takamol Cement in Sudan, a 1.6 MPTA plant that began production in November 2010.
“We would like to thank the entire team at ASEC Minya, particularly our Technical Department and our contractors ASEC Automation, Esaco and Aresco. Without them, this achievement would not have been possible,” said Bodo. “After Takamol in Sudan, this is another example of our ability to execute large projects under very difficult circumstances and a testament of our determination to succeed.”
ASEC Cement, a leading regional cement group, is the largest shareholder in ASEC Minya with a 45% stake in the project. Other shareholders in ANCC include Misr Qena Cement (13.9%), Hayel Saeed (30.7%), IFU/FLS (9.2%) and other shareholders (1.2%).
ASEC Minya stands as one of Egypt’s largest project finance deals to date. Citadel Capital owns an indirect stake of 16.7% in ASEC Minya.
“The steadfast support of our financial partners and their belief in the viability of the project was also a key factor that allowed us to remain on track,” added Bodo.
Cement is one of five core industries in which Citadel Capital invests across its 15-country footprint, alongside energy, transportation, agrifoods, mining, and cement.
ASEC Cement is a Portfolio Company of ASEC Holding, Citadel Capital’s platform investment for cement, engineering and construction in the Middle East and Africa. Created by Citadel Capital and a group of leading co-investors, ASEC Cement is emerging as a leading regional cement producer that plans to control approximately 10 million tons of cement per annum by 2015 in attractive, key markets in the MENA region, including Egypt, Sudan and Algeria.
Citadel Capital (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange) is the leading investment company in Africa and Middle East. Citadel Capital controls investments of US$ 9.5 billion and focuses on 5 core industries: Energy, Transportation, Agrifoods, Mining and Cement. For more information, please visit www.citadelcapital.com.
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