Egypt’s Industrial Development Authority said on Wednesday interest in bidding for two cement production licenses had been subdued ahead of this week’s deadline and the permits could end up being scrapped.
Amr Assal also said the authority he heads wanted to attract investment in textiles, food processing, chemicals and other industries as part of Egypt’s effort to double exports to LE 200 billion by 2013.
Egypt re-opened bidding for cement licenses previously held by El Wadi Cement and North Sinai Cement after the firms had permits withdrawn in November over start-up delays and financing shortfalls. The bid deadline is Thursday.
"We see that interest for those locations doesn’t appear to be large for the time being," Assal said. "If by July 1 there are no real bids submitted, we will reconsider the licenses."
The licenses are for North Sinai east of Cairo and El Wadi to the southwest of the capital.
Remco for Touristic Villages Construction and Horus Cement, a subsidiary of investment bank Naeem Holdings, had expressed interest in the bid but neither had yet submitted an offer to the authority, Assal said.
"Our expectation is that both might not necessarily submit their bids," Assal told Reuters, adding that Remco had asked for a 45-day extension to apply but their request was rejected.
The authority will meet on July 4 to assess any offers.
In addition, Egypt is considering issuing eight other cement licenses this year, as it aims to boost production capacity to 80 million tons a year by 2015 from 50 million.
Assal would not discuss the fate of these eight licenses, saying they were under consideration by an energy authority.