• Qalaa has stakes in cement factories in Algeria, Sudan and Egypt
  • It is looking to sell its Algerian cement assets
  • Qalaa predicts all Egyptian cement factories will use alternatives to gas by the end of the year

Egyptian investment company Qalaa Holdings is seeking to invest in the country’s cement sector amid an anticipated construction boom.

The company is expecting increased demand for cement according to managing director, Mohamed Shoeib.

Billions of dollars-worth of high-profile construction projects were unveiled at the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh in early March, including plans to build a new capital city that will house up to 5 million people.

Qalaa Holdings currently has stakes in cement production facilities in Algeria, Sudan and Egypt.

“We are looking to sell our Algerian assets and aquire more Egyptian cement assets,” Shoeib said.

In 2014, Egypt’s cement producers suffered from gas shortages with several plants seeing their gas supplies cut off entirely.

Due to the gas shortage the Egyptian government granted cement companies permission to use coal as an alternative energy source.

Despite the ongoing problems securing reliable energy supplies, Shoeib says the sector’s problems securing gas supplies are offset by the predicted increase in demand.

“All Egypt’s cement factories will be converted to coal or another alternative fuel by the end of the year,” Shoeib said.

Cement prices have increased from £E500 a tonne to £E780 a tonne over the past 12 months, according to construction companies.