Egypt's Citadel starts power project for Sudan cement plant
CAIRO, May 24 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Citadel Capital <CCAP.CA> opened a $67 million plant to generate power for a cement factory it controls in Sudan, as the firm moves towards expanding its regional foothold, it said on Monday.
In a joint venture between two of Citadel's units, ASEC Cement and Taqa Arabia, the project will have a capacity of 42 megawatts and supply a 1.6 million-tonne-per-annum greenfield cement plant near Fahalb, on the west banks of the River Nile.
Taqa Arabia owns a 51 percent stake in the project, Berber for Electrical Power, while ASEC Cement owns 25 percent. The rest is owned by Sudan's pension fund.
ASEC Cement wants to capitalise on the growth of housing and infrastructure demand in the region by more than doubling its cement production by 2013 to reach about 12 million tonnes per year. [ID:nLDE60R1YO]
ASEC has stakes in cement plants in Algeria, Sudan, Syria, Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region and Ethiopia.
"This is an important component of our regional expansion strategy," Khaled Abubakr, Taqa Arabia chief executive officer, said in a statement.
Taqa Arabia, established in 2006, specialises in gas and electricity distribution as well as fuels marketing. It operates in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Libya, Jordan and Syria.
The cement plant, named Takamol, is due to start operations later this year, Giorgio Bodo, chief executive officer and chairman told Reuters in January.
Citadel, which entered Sudan in 2007, has invested around $750 million in Sudanese agriculture, logistics and river transportation, as well as cement and mining projects. (Writing by Dina Zayed; Editing by Louise Heavens)