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Suez Cement to shut operations in Cairo

Suez Cement, Egypts largest listed cement company, said it would shut down 14 production lines as part of an agreement with the government to relocate out of the capital to reduce pollution.

Suez Cement, a unit of Italcementi, has agreed to close 13 wet lines at its Helwan Cement and Torah Cement subsidiaries and a 1.1 million tonnes-per-year dry line for clinker at Torah.

Suez will now open a new line with an annual capacity of 2mn tonnes of clinker at its plant 30km east of Cairo. The new US$400 million line will help the company increase its cement production by 900,000 tonnes.

The firm said in March 2010 that it planned to spend more than US$517mn to relocate 2.5 million tonnes of Torah's capacity to a new, energy-efficient site.

Suez Cement's net profit fell 8.5 per cent to US$157 million in the first nine months of 2010.