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.