Spain's Brasahas acquired white cement company Societe Tuniso-Algerienne de Ciment Blanc (Sotacib), jointly owned by the governments of Algeria and Tunisia, for TD 97 million ($78.9 million). Italy's Italcementiand Cimpor of Portugal also submitted bids. Brasa's bid was more than 10 per cent higher than that of its nearest competitor.
Sotacib owns and operates a single cement plant in Feriana, 344 kilometres southwest of Tunis. The 18-year-old facility has capacity of 260,000 tonnes a year (t/y), but in 2004 produced 310,000 tonnes of cement. In the medium term, Brasa is expected to increase the plant's capacity to 500,000 t/y to help meet a combined shortfall in supply in Algeria, Tunisia and Libya estimated at 500,000 t/y (MEED 27:5:05). A consortium of Egypt's Orascom Construction Industriesand Denmark's FL Smidthwas in mid-September awarded the $138 million contract for Algeria's first white cement plant, with capacity of 550,000 t/y (MEED 16:9:05).
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