Algeria Cement Company (ACC) has signed a letter of intent with Denmark's FL Smidthfor the supply of equipment for a new cement plant in the M'Sila area, 250 kilometres southeast of Algiers. 'There are still some technical details to straighten out but we hope to make the award soon,' an ACC official confirmed on 18 February. FL Smidth confirmed that it was in negotiations about the plant, but declined to discuss the contract, other than to say the company hopes to make an announcement in the coming months.
ACC, a new venture established between Egypt's Orascom Construction Industries and local partners, is preparing to begin work on the cement plant by the start of March, having received official authorisation to proceed in mid February. Orascom had previously studied two other sites for the long-awaited project (MEED 25:5:01).
The new plant will be built in two stages, with the first production phase, which will have a capacity of 1.8 million tonnes a year (t/y) of cement, expected to come on stream in March 2004. The plant's capacity will be extended by a further 1.8 million t/y at a later date.
Orascom's local subsidiary, Orascom Construction Algeria, will be playing a major role in the plant's construction, including carrying out the design, civil works and erection. Design of the non-production buildings is already under way, and work is expected to start soon on the labour camp and administrative buildings. The construction equipment is presently in transit and is scheduled to arrive at the M'Sila site in early March. First designs for the production line will begin in a couple of months.
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