The factory will be built over two years in the Wadi al-Shatii area, in the west of the country. It will have a capacity of 1 million tonnes a year of clinker.

The state-owned Economic & Social Development Fund will hold a 40 per cent stake in the project.

Libya is pushing ahead with plans to develop its industrial sector. In February, the UK’s Klesch & Company signed an agreement with Tripoli to develop the country’s first aluminium smelter.

In November 2007, the International Monetary Fund projected that Libya’s economy would grow by 8.8 per cent in 2008, up from a projected 6.8 per cent growth in 2007.