Cement capacity grinds the kingdom

24 June 2005
Cement capacity in the kingdom could reach 70 million tonnes a year (t/y) by 2010, if 27 licences for new plants come to fruition, a senior industry official told the MEED Middle East Cement Industry conference in Dubai on 19-20 June. 'We expect that at least seven will be realised,' said Khalid Al-Mudaifer, general manager of the local Qassim Cement Company (QCC). 'It is difficult to forecast as each week it seems a new press release is issued announcing a new project.'

Clinker production in the kingdom currently stands at about 23 million t/y, with construction under way of about 11 million t/y of new capacity by existing producers and newcomer Riyadh Cement Companyset to take production to 34 million t/y by 2007 (see Special Report). However, a raft of new plants and expansions are at various stages of tendering.

Saudi Cement Company (SCC) received bids on 18 June for the turnkey contract to install a new clinker line at its existing plant at Hofuf in the Eastern Province. The three bidders are Denmark's FL Smidth, Germany's Polysius and China's Sinoma International. The project will take 30 months to complete.

The SCC expansion project calls for the installation of a 10,000-tonne-a-day (t/d) clinker line and the upgrade of the fifth clinker line from a capacity of 3,500 t/d to more than 4,000 t/d. SCC's existing clinker capacity stands at 7,825 t/d. Austroplan Austrian Engineeringis the consultant on the scheme, with a second consultant, India's Holtec, recently appointed to provide additional support (MEED 28:1:05).

The recently-established City Cement Companyis in final negotiations with Sinoma to builda 5,000-t/d plant 140 kilometres southwest of Riyadh. The estimated $200 million contract also covers installation of a power plant and is scheduled to come on stream by early 2007.

Negotiations are under way to build a 5,000-t/d facility in Najran. An unidentified local company and an international contractor recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop the facility.

The local Al-Rajhi Groupis also planning to enter the market. Tenders for the new 3,000-t/d plant in the Al-Wasta area are expected to be issued by the end of July. A tender is also expected to be issued at the same time for another 3,000-t/d plant in the Jeddah vicinity, planned by a new company identified as United Cement. Holtec is acting as consultant on the four projects.

QCC and Tabouk Cement Companyhave also signed an MoU to carry out a feasibility study for a new cement factory in the north of the kingdom.

Holtec is also preparing tender documents for a new red bricks factory in the Jeddah area with a capacity of 3,000 t/d. The local El-Khayyat Red Bricks Manufacturing is the client.


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