Leading African private equity house Citadel Capital (www.citadelcapital.com) has this week announced 2 cement deals. Citadel was recently named “African Business of the Year” at a gala awards ceremony organized by “African Business” magazine. It is based in Cairo and listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange (ticker CCAP.CA). It has been expanding into Africa and, according to a press release, has US$ 8.3 billion in investments covering 15 industries and spanning 14 countries.
On 15 July Citadel announced that ASEC Engineering and Management, a portfolio company of its investment platform company ASEC Holding, has signed a 3-year renewable contract to provide technical management services to Alsalam Cement Production Company (ACPC) to manage a cement plant near Atbara, Sudan.
The Atbara plant produces clinker, which is then ground with gypsum to make cement. The plant has a production capacity of approximately 2,000 tons of clinker per day. ASEC Engineering will receive a fixed fee for every ton of clinker produced in return for a guaranteed minimum annual production and a pledge to reduce the plant’s consumption of electrical power and fuel. ACPC was established in 2003 and is owned by the Ahmad Osman Abdulsalam Group. The plant near Atbara is currently ACPC’s sole operation, although it is in initial planning stages for the construction of a second plant.
According to a press release ASEC Engineering Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Galal Yakout says: “We look forward to developing a strategy that optimizes the efficiency of Alsalam’s production process.”
ASEC Engineering has long provided market-leading management and consultancy services in Egypt, where in 2009 the company managed 7 plants with a total production capacity of about 15 million tons per annum (MTPA), or more than 30% of total cement production capacity in the country. In 2010, the company has already delivered 3 major cement plant consultancy projects. In addition to its expansion into Sudan, ASEC Engineering played a vital role in the turnaround of the Zahana cement plant in Algeria and is currently exploring opportunities in other regional markets.
In related news, ASEC Engineering will also be responsible for the technical management of ASEC Cement’s nearby Takamol plant, which is in advanced stages of operational testing. Scheduled to open later this month, the plant will have a production capacity of 1.45 MTPA of clinker and 1.6 MTPA of cement, reducing Sudan’s national cement deficit of 3 MTPA by more than half.
Another subsidiary of ASEC Holding, called ASEC for Manufacturing and Industrial Projects (ARESCO), announced on 12 July that it has signed a US$ 130 million contract to construct a new cement plant for the Building Materials Industry Company (BMIC) in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Assiut. ARESCO is a turnkey contractor serving the cement, energy, petrochemicals, petroleum and general industrial sectors. According to the prss release, ARESCO has “state-of-the-art engineering, steel fabrication and construction units that fabricate quality products including boilers, cement mills, preheaters, tanks, condensers and pressure vessels. With over 4,000 employees, ARESCO is a rapidly growing business that has undertaken turnkey projects in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Qatar, Sudan, Algeria and Libya.”
ARESCO is to provide all the civil, electrical and mechanical works for the 1.5 MTPA cement plant, which is projected to be complete in 22 months. The company will also carry out all steel fabrication as well as testing and commissioning for BMIC on a turnkey lump sum basis.
Tarek Salah, a Managing Director at Citadel Capital, says in the press release: “The integration of ARESCO’s in-house design and manufacturing capabilities — which include its own workshops and fleet of cranes — have made the company a strong competitor in both the cement and general industrial sectors.”
Citadel Capital is also a lead investor in Rift Valley Railways which holds a 25-year concession to operate the Kenya-Uganda railway.