Posted by: Reuters

Algeria’s state cement firm GICA has exported to Europe for the first time, sending out 200,000 tonnes of grey cement, it said on Wednesday, as the North African oil producing country seeks to lower its import bill following a fall in energy revenues.

Algeria used to be a net importer of grey cement, but new plants all over the country have boosted its output to beyond 25 million tonnes per year, according to industry ministry figures.

“GICA, a state owned group has realised its first 200,000 tonnes export operation of grey cement to European countries,” Groupe Industriel Ciment Algérie (GICA) said in a statement.

GICA output reached 14 million tonnes in 2017 versus 12.4 million tonnes in 2016.

Algeria’s total cement output capacity is expected to reach 40.6 million tonnes by 2020, and domestic demand is estimated at 24 million tonnes, according to official figures.

French firm Lafarge also has several cement plants in Algeria. (Reporting by Lamine Chikhi, Editing by Ulf Laessing and William Maclean)