Uzbekistan hopes to attract Lafarge

Business Materials 6 July 2010 12:46 (UTC +04:00)

Uzbekistan, Tashkent, July 6 / corr Trend D.Azizov /

Uzstroymateriali and French Lafarge signed a memorandum of understanding to construct a plant in the Jizak region in Central Uzbekistan from 2011-2013. The plant will have a capacity of 2 million tons per year.

Based on the memorandum, the French company will submit a feasibility study and a finance proposal by late this year.

Uzbekistan already confirmed a preliminary feasibility study, which stipulates dry cement construction at an approximate price of $250 million.

Earlier, Russia's TBK-Invest Ltd. planned to build a plant in Jizak with the capacity of 3 million tons per year worth $460 million from 2007-2010. However, the Russian company later refused to implement the project due to financial problems.

Earlier Uzbekistan adopted a program to upgrade and reequip construction material companies. The program is financed by enterprises, direct foreign investments and loans. The program covers 36 projects and 14 major national producers. The program's primary target is the cement industry.

Under the program, plans include building six cement plants with a total cost of $1.415 billion and doubling the cement industry's production capacity to 10-12 million tons per year by 2013. Plans also include building two plants with a preliminary designed capacity of 1 million tons and 1.7 million tons per year in the Surkhandarya region, a plant with a capacity of 2 million tons per year in Jizak, two plants each with a capacity of 1.5 million tons per year in the Kashkadarinsk region and Karakalpak Autonomous Republic, and a plant with a capacity of 800,000 tons a year in the Tashkent region.

According to Uzstroymateraili, the country is building three cement plants with a total capacity of 2.36 million tons and a value of roughly $290 million.

Uzbekistan operates six cement plants with a total production capacity of 6.5 million tons per year. The largest are Kizilkumcement (3.08 million tons), Akhangarancement (1.74 million tons) and Kuvasaycement (920,000 tons).

Uzbekistan is a cement production leader in the post-Soviet space behind Russia and Ukraine. Cement comprises almost 70 percent of the overall construction material volume in Uzbekistan, and 75 percent of all construction material exports.

Cement production increased by 3.1 percent in Uzbekistan in 2009 to 6.853 million tons.