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Lafarge Opens Cement Plant In Iraq


Earlier this month, Bruno Lafont, chairman and CEO of Lafarge, inaugurated a new cement plant at Bazian, in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Earlier this month, Bruno Lafont, chairman and CEO of Lafarge, inaugurated a new cement plant at Bazian, in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The plant is about 19 miles from Sulaimaniyah, which is the second-biggest city of the region. It has been in operation since mid-2008 and has an annual production capacity of 2.5 million tonnes of cement. It is equipped with the latest technology and meets environmental standards as applied by Lafarge across all its operations. It is partly powered by a captive electricity station built by Lafarge next to the plant.

Lafarge now holds two cement plants in Iraq as principal shareholder, which result from the acquisition of Orascom Cement in January 2008. With these two latest plants, Lafarge is pursuing its internal growth strategy in cement and progressing with the implementation of its capacity expansion program, undertaken for the 2006-2012 period and revised in 2008 in order to adapt to the current economy. Thus, during this period, 48 million tonnes of new cement capacity will have been built, principally in developing countries, which are seeing very high levels of demand.

As such, the Bazian and Tasluja plants (about 30 kilometers away from one another) will enable Lafarge to respond to the strong demand for building materials in the Iraqi market, in a country going through the process of reconstruction where the requirement for cement is increasing by 15% per year. Lafarge seeks to assist these efforts by supplying quality materials for the construction of housing and infrastructure. In Iraq today, one tonne of cement in every four comes from Lafarge's Iraqi plants.

Lafarge entered the Iraqi market in 2008, following the acquisition of Orascom. The groupís two cement plants have a total capacity of 5 million tons per year and employs about 2,000 people.