A consortium comprising Denmark’s FL Smidth (FLS)and the local arm of Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries (OCI)has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build the country’s first white cement plant.

The $138 million order was placed by the newly-formed Ciment Blanc d’Algerie, a wholly-owned subsidiary of OCI. The new plant will meet local demand of 300,000 tonnes a year (t/y), with initial exports of about 250,000 t/y to markets in Africa, southern Europe and the US.

The greenfield plant, representing OCI’s first venture into the white cement industry, will have capacity of 550,000 t/y and be located within 70 kilometres of major ports at Arzew, Oran and Mostaganem. OCI Algeria will be responsible for construction work, which will begin by mid-November for a period of 21 months, with FLS to provide the equipment.

Estimated project costs of $172.4 million will be financed through a 60:40 debt/equity split, with the debt to be provided by a syndication of international and leading local banks. Financial close is expected by the end of the year (MEED 24:6:05).

An FLS/OCI consortium in June completed the construction of a second production line at the M’Sila cement plant on behalf of OCI subsidiary Algerian Cement Company (ACC). The 2.5 million-t/y line, completed in a record time of 18 months, takes ACC’s production of grey cement to 5 million t/y (MEED 30:1:05).