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Italcementi Group entered the Egyptian market in October 2001, when it took part to the first privatisation phase of Suez Cement, a company listed on the Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchange, acquiring 25% of its capital and thus becoming one of its strategic stakeholders. Following subsequent purchases, in March 2005 Italcementi Group became the principal shareholder of Suez Cement, together with a consortium of local and international investors, through one of the most substantial foreign investments in Egypt outside the oil sector.
Suez Cement's entrance in the Italcementi industrial network constituted an important opportunity of development for the Egyptian company, also due to new investments aimed at increasing its efficiency. Furthermore it strengthened the Group's leadership in the Mediterranean, confirmed by the acquisition of Helwan plant in 2005.
Suez Cement operates 5 plants, one of which specialised in white cement production (El Minya), and has an overall staff of more than 3,000 employees, who participate in ongoing training and advancement programs. Suez Cement is one of the leading cement manufacturers in the Egyptian market.
During 2006 the Group entered the concrete sector through the acquisition of RMB (Ready Mix Beton) and Decom.
The company is dedicated to investing in a better Egypt. Its biggest challenge is promoting industrial development and economic performance while ensuring to comply with the highest standards of environmental protection. In this spirit, in November 2013, a new, state-of-the-art filtration system was launched at Helwan plant. The filter system reduces dust emissions levels to a maximum of 10mg/m3, which is well below Egyptian and European standards.
In addition, Suez Cement inaugurated a new waste-processing plant at its Kattameya site in December 2013 that turns pre-sorted waste into fuel. The facility is the first of its kind for Egypt and Italcementi Group.
The project, which took almost a year to complete, is worth €5 million euros. The plant was built in compliance with Egyptian environmental law and produces approximately 35Kt of RDF annually.
Suez Group of Companies is also approaching the project for the use of coal as fuel for the kilns, in order to limit energy shortage to the plants, according to new governmental decisions. The deployment of coal and petroleum coke goes hand in hand with the reduction of the plants' environmental impact through the implementation of state-of-the-art dust filter technology as well as other technical efficiencies and streamlining processes.
The Group, through its subsidiary Italgen, has also invested heavily in renewable energy efforts.
In 2014 Italgen began the construction phase and is confident the project will come online in 2016. The initiative branded the firm as an industry pioneer since Italgen was the first private investor to attain government approval to generate and sell renewable energy in the country. The wind farm is being built at a site in Gulf El Zeit, just north of Hurghada. The initiative is part of Italcementi Group’s efforts to boost the percentage of renewable, clean energy their operations use every day. This is in addition to Suez Cement’s long-term plans to reduce fuel consumption via improved production-line capacity and the replacement of conventional fuels, i.e. natural gas and mazut, with alternative fuels such as refuse-derived fuels and biomass. Italgen has allocated more than €130 million for the first phase of the development slated to produce 120 MW of power when complete – enough energy to cover 40% of Suez Cement’s power needs. It will also reduce the company's CO2 emissions.