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Egypt's North Sinai Cement regains license

Firm to produce for first time since 2009 as court cancels government decision

Reuters, Thursday 12 May 2011
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North Sinai Cement will resume operations within a week after a court cancelled a government decision to scrap the firm's licence, its chairman told Reuters on Wednesday.

Egypt's Industrial Development Authority (IDA) removed North Sinai's licence late in 2009 over start-up delays and financing shortfalls. The firm was granted a 60-day appeal period but failed to meet conditions to challenge the decision.

Investors in listed rivals, such as South Valley Cement and National Cement  were watching the case for any hints on how it might affect future licence policy.

"We will resume production immediately next week. We have won the case on Tuesday and the licence is returned, " said Chairman Abdel Hameed Selmy.

North Sinai has one production line, with annual production capacity of 1.8 million tonnes.

In February, an Egyptian prosecutor ordered the detention of the head of the IDA, Amr Assal, as it probes allegations that he squandered LE670 million of public funds.

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