Holcim enters United Arab Emirates cement market


Holcim Trading, a fully-owned subsidiary of Holcim Ltd, has acquired a 25 percent stake in National Cement Factory (NCF) based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The company was founded in 2005 by the Emirates International Investment Company and other local investors with the purpose to build a grinding station in Abu Dhabi. The installation with an annual capacity of more than 2 million tonnes of cement is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2007. Holcim will assume management and sourcing of raw materials for NCF.

The partnership with important local investors provides a strong basis for future growth. Holcim has a call option agreement to increase its stake in NCF after the first full year of production.

This will provide Holcim with a strong import position in the UAE, one of the fastest growing markets in the Middle East region. Abu Dhabi, an oil-rich Emirate and capital of the UAE, is expected to show the fastest growth in cement consumption in the coming years. The grinding station has direct access to the sea and is an excellent addition to Holcim's network across the Indian Ocean.

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Holcim is one of the world's leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, sand and gravel) as well as downstream activities such as ready-mix concrete and asphalt including services. The Group holds majority and minority interests in more than 70 countries on all continents.
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