Local authorities are continuing to discuss whether to give Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) the go-ahead so that work can proceed on the new plant planned by Algerian Cement Company (ACC). An Algerian delegation is expected to visit OCI in the first week of November, when it will inspect Egyptian Cement Company, in which OCI holds a 53 per cent stake (MEED 26:5:00).

At present, OCI is the sole shareholder in ACC. The Algerian-registered company has a total investment budget of $248 million, of which $96 million will be in the form of equity. Some $64 million in loans is being negotiated with international banks while the remaining funds will be raised from local banks.

The plant, to be located in Bejaia province, 230 kilometres east of the capital, will produce 1.8 million tonnes a year (t/y) of cement.

Output is scheduled to be raised to 3.6 million t/y by 2005.

Construction of the plant is to be performed by OCI with local subcontractors, which are still to be selected. Krupp Polysius of France is expected to supply the plant’s equipment. Site work will begin as soon as OCI has been awarded an environmental permit by the government enabling the company to purchase the land.

Construction is expected to start soon after land acquisition and the plant is scheduled to come on stream within 36 months of the start date.