The estimated $220 million project will involve the addition of a new 5,000-tonne-a-day (t/d) clinker line. Among companies expected to bid on the scheme are Germany’s KHD Humboldt Wedagand Denmark’s FL Smidth. The engineering consultant on the project is the local Iran Industrial Design Company (IIDC). KCC has operated since 1998 a 3,000-t/d clinker line.

Cement capacity has been on the rise in recent years, as population growth and increased project activity have spurred demand. ‘The market is good now, especially with reconstruction in Afghanistan expected to begin soon,’ says an IIDC official. ‘All local plants have drawn up expansion plans and several plants are under construction. Even so, there is still a need for more cement.’

Iran has 35 cement plants, with installed clinker capacity of about 29 million tonnes, and a further 12 are under construction. The new expansion drive is set to increase exports, which reached 872,000 tonnes in 2000. Key export markets are Azerbaijan, Armenia, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and the GCC.