GCC cement production will rise to 21 million tonnes a year (t/y) by the mid-1990s from the present 17.3 million t/y, according to the latest report from the Damascus-based Arab Union for Cement & Building Materials. The organisation forecasts that by 2010, output will have increased further to 30.2 million t/y as a series of expansion projects are completed.

The report says that the six GCC states operate 21 cement plants with an estimated value of $5,000 million. However, the union’s technical director, Omar Yagi, said lack of maintenance and increased costs of production have hindered regional output: total installed capacity in the region is estimated at 27.8 million t/y, 10 million t/y above actual production. The situation is highlighted by the largest regional producer, Saudi Arabia. With capacity of nearly 18 million t/y, it produces less than 15 million t/y.