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Monday, 5 September 2016

Government considers granting Engineering Authority cement and steel licenses

State moving back into cement, steel industries? The government is considering granting “a sovereign entity” cement and steel licenses to “create balance in the market,” government sources tell Al Masry Al Youm. This entity is looking to develop two steel plants and a cement factory and has presented a plan to the cabinet that could see the issuance of four new steel licenses, two of which will go to the private sector, and two to the public sector. President El Sisi had ordered the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces in April to step in and open a steel factory to “stabilise the price of steel,” which authority head Gen. Kamel El Wazeer had said at the time was influenced by “monopolistic practices.”

The Engineering Authority may see an opportunity in the cement market as only six companies are believed to have bid on eight of the 14 licenses tendered last May. The government has delayed the auction for the cement licenses as it has yet to determine the minimum bidding price, something the Ismail cabinet was supposed to do last month, Al Borsa reports. Sources added that one of the companies had not completed it paperwork to operate yet and is also looking for an extension.

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