Washington D.C., May 1, 2001—The International
Finance Corporation has signed agreements for a US$15 million investment
in the Albanian cement sector. IFC’s loan, together with parallel
financing from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD),
will help finance a $61 million expansion and modernization project of
a leading cement factory and represents the largest foreign direct investment
in Albania’s manufacturing industry since the country’s transition to
a market economy in the early 1990s.
Seament Albania, Sh.p.k, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Seament Group
of Lebanon, will install a new dry process kiln line with energy efficient
technology at its main cement production facility, Elbasan Cement Factory
(ECF), located in southern Albania. Seament acquired the formerly
state-owned cement plant in March 1997 during the government’s privatization
process. The project is expected to quadruple the plant’s total
cement production capacity from the present 200,000 tons per annum to almost
800,000 tons per annum.
As a result of the new technology being implemented, ECF will achieve major
savings in fuel and electricity costs, while a series of environmental
improvement measures will radically reduce effluent emissions. Drawing
from its significant experience in the cement industry worldwide, IFC has
provided critical technical assistance to Seament, which has led to substantial
cost savings and important efficiency gains. The project will serve
as a vehicle for developing the technical skills of local Albanian workers
through company-initiated training and operations management.
Khosrow Zamani, Director of IFC’s Southern Europe and Central Asia Department,
said that the success of this project will pave the way for other foreign
direct investment in Albania. Mr. Zamani added that by supporting
an investment in Seament’s Albanian operations, IFC is clearly demonstrating
its commitment to the economic development of Albania while at the same
time boosting competition in the domestic cement industry.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote sustainable
private sector investment in developing countries as a way to reduce poverty
and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments
in emerging markets, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.