PPC to enter Algeria

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Algeria: PPC announced its advanced plans for entry into the Algerian cement market on 24 February 2014, through a partnership with Algerian private investors that would see it own a 49% stake in the Hodna Cement Company.

The transaction will be funded on a project finance basis, with 80% debt funding from local banks, according to PPC. The stake, which was bought for an undisclosed amount, will see PPC assume management control of Hodna, allowing for the consolidation of the financial results of the project into the PPC group accounts.

According to PPC, Hodna will construct a 2Mt/yr cement plant for US$350m in the Hodna area, which is roughly 300km east of Algiers. PPC is already building cement plants in Ethiopia, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

"This project sees us entering yet another African country and gives us confidence that by 2017, 40% of PPC revenues will be earned outside of South Africa," said CEO Ketso Gordhan.

"The Algerian cement market is very attractive, as consumption exceeds local production by approximately 3Mt/yr. Moreover, the Algerian government has committed itself to large-scale capital spending programmes, including the US$6bn New City Hassi Messaoud project, which will see the rollout of thousands of housing units," he said, adding that this would "certainly boost the demand of cement in this country."

The company said that once the feasibility study has been concluded, construction of the plant will take up to 30 months, with commissioning anticipated by the fourth quarter of 2016. As with its other expansion projects, PPC said it would engage China's Sinoma International Engineering as the contractor to supply and build the plant, supported by India's Holtec Consulting.

"With a population of close to 40 million people, of which 74% live in urban areas, combined with a relatively high GDP/capita of US$5582, Algeria still requires the construction of 225,000 housing units per year to meet demand. The national housing shortage in Algeria is estimated at 1.2m units," stated PPC.

Last modified on 05 March 2014

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