The shortage of diesel, mazut, and clinker material used in producing cement has led to decreasing the total current production capacity of the factories of Alexandria Portland Cement by 70%, according to an official at the company.
Alexandria Portland Cement owns three production lines: one line in Alexandria with a capacity of 1.5m tonnes annually and fuelled by diesel and mazut, and two lines in Beni Suef with an annual capacity of 3m tonnes.
The source said the company has been suffering continuous shortage in the fuel used in operating the clinker grinding ovens since the past year. The company resorted to importing clinker to offset that shortage.
The source noted that the company intends to convert Alexandria’s factory to use coal before the end of 2016. Work is ongoing now to install grinders that fit the new operation scheme.
The company converted a factory in Beni Suef to operate on alternate fuel of agriculture and solid wastes and coal. The total investments allocated to convert the company’s factories to the use of coal amount to EGP 600m.
The company’s board approved the obtainment of a EGP 150m three-year loan from HSBC bank to finance the company’s working capital and expansions.
The company plans to obtain 20% of the total energy needed to operate the factories during the first year of operation from alternative fuel produced of agricultural and industrial wastes.
Balance sheets of Alexandria Portland Cement in the first quarter of this year showed that it continues suffering financially and operationally. The company registered EGP 106.76m losses compared to EGP 529,000 in the first quarter of the last year.
The losses are attributed to converting to coal, in addition to the retreat in sales, resulting from the decrease in the production capacity, the decrease in the cement selling prices in the Egyptian market, the low ability to export, and the high financing expenses.
The company’s total sales in the first quarter of this year amounted to EGP 548m, compared to EGP 507m in the same period in 2015. The expenses amounted to EGP 484m, compared to EGP 481m.
The issued and paid up capitals of the Alexandria Portland Cement amount to approximately EGP 2.57bn, distributed on 257m shares with a par value/share of EGP 10.