A new round of capacity additions are planned in the local cement sector as producers look to meet demand. Current capacity stands at 11 million tonnes a year (t/y) and is set to increase by 3 million-4 million t/y by 2007.The most advanced project is an estimated $100 million grassroots plant near Al-Tawiyeen village in the emirate of Fujairah. The main construction tender is expected to be issued by the end of June, once the environmental impact study is completed. The facility will have 5,500 tonnes a day (t/d) of capacity. A Chinese firm identified as Grand Aurawill finance and operate the plant after signing an agreement with the government of Fujairah. The project company will be known as the Tawiyeen Cement Plant Company. Construction is scheduled to take about 24 months. Hill Internationalof the US is the consultant. Jebel Ali Cement Factoryis also pressing ahead with its estimated AED 710 million ($193 million) programme to build new cement and clinker capacity. The company has yet to finalise a location for a new clinkerisation plant, although a final decision is expected by the end of July, along with the appointment of a consultant. ‘Depending on the economics in terms of power supply we are looking at either a site near Rolla on the Oman-UAE border or at Jebel Ali,’ Sharafuddin Sharaf, owner of Jebel Ali Cement Factory, said on the sidelines of the MEED Middle East Cement Industry conference in Dubai on June 19-20 (MEED 28:1:05). Phase 1 of the two-stage programme will see investment of about AED 120 million ($33 million) in the construction of a 2,300-t/d cement line. Phase 2, worth an estimated AED 590 million ($160 million), will cover the construction of a 1.6 million-t/y clinker line. ‘We will partly be financing the project, but we may set up a separate company with shareholders,’ said Sharaf. India’s Enexco Teknologieshas been retained to design the clinker grinding plant. Larsen & Toubro, also of India, and Denmark’s FL Smidthwill provide a ball mill with a dynamic separator. Ras al-Khaimah (RAK) is also moving ahead with a new facility in the Al-Ghail area. A joint venture of the RAK Gas Commission and India’s Penna Cement Industriesannounced on 18 June that it had established Pioneer Cement Industries (PCI). The 1 million-t/y plant will be financed through stakeholders and various banks. Total project costs are estimated at about $120 million.