CAIRO: Lecico Egypt announced its first trial production from International Ceramics, the new tile plant in Borg El-Arab which will be fully operational in August, according to a statement.
Lecico secured government approval to connect its new tile plant to the natural gas grid in June and expects the red body portion of its first phase of the plant to be fully operational in August, the firm said.
The total project has a capacity of 17 million square meters, 12.8 million square meters of red body tiles and 4.2 million square meters of Gres Porcellanato or glazed porcelain floor tiles.
The investment is being done in two phases, each with a capacity of 6.4 million square meters of red body tiles and 2.1 million square meters of porcelain tiles.
While the red body portion of the first phase is now in trial production, “the start date for the first phase porcelain body production has been delayed due to political events and the board has yet to confirm a new launch date for this production.”
The roll-out of the second phase will be decided depending on demand on phase one.
“This project will increase Lecico’s existing tile capacity by over 70 percent, a significant expansion justified by the continued strong demand for our tiles even in the difficult economic conditions our region has faced this year,” commented Gilbert Gargour, Lecico Egypt Chairman and CEO.
“For several years now our tile plant in Khorshid has been operating at full capacity and we have had to make difficult choices about allocating product as demand for our tiles has continued to grow both inside and outside Egypt,” he added.
Glazed porcelain tiles are a high-value product for Lecico with potential markets across Europe and the Middle East, he said, with potential to “generate incremental annual revenues of around LE 490 million when the project is running at full capacity.”
Gres Porcellanato is the Italian name for porcelain stoneware or porcelain tiles. Glazed or unglazed, they are made up of special clays and are fully vitrified tiles with very low water absorption with chemical and frost resistance and high abrasion resistance.