Sharaf has signed an agreement with the Fujairah Municipality to build the plant in Habbab.

The 350,000 square metre factory will have an initial production capacity of 2 million tonnes a year (t/y), with a future planned capacity of 4 million t/y.

Construction is expected to be complete in 2010. Sharaf already operates a cement factory in Jebel Ali, in Dubai.

The UAE’s booming construction industry has made investment in the cement sector increasingly attractive.

However, demand has led to high cement prices that have helped push up construction costs. In a bid to alleviate the pressure in March, the government of the UAE announced a decision to remove customs duties on imports of cement (MEED 13:03:08).