On 8th April 2009, Mr Bruno Lafont, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Lafarge, inaugurated a new plant at Bazian, in Iraqi Kurdistan.
This new plant is situated thirty kilometres away 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 the Group's 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 2 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 economic reality. 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 in Iraq
Lafarge entered the Iraqi market in 2008, following the acquisition of Orascom. The Group has two cement plants there, with a total capacity of 5 million tonnes per year, located at Tasluja and at Bazian in Iraqi Kurdistan, and employs about 2000 people.
Notes to editors
Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in all of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete and Gypsum. With more than 84,000 employees in 79 countries, Lafarge posted sales of Euros 19 billion in 2008.
In 2009 and for the fifth year in a row, Lafarge was listed in the ‘Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World'. With the world's leading building materials research facility, Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities, working for sustainable construction and architectural creativity.