A USD 1.1 bn cement plant with six production lines in the Egyptian city of Beni Suef will start operations within days, Reuters quoted officials as saying on January 31.

With construction beginning 18 months ago, each production line will produce 6,000 tons of cement per day, with expectations of a total annual output of 13 mn tons a year.

As of 2017, the country had 79 mn tons of annual capacity with consumption reaching only 53 mn tons, an official at a rival firm, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

The new plant, 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Cairo, is owned by El-Areesh Cement Co. for Cement, which in turn is owned by the Egyptian armed forces.

The plant cost EUR 900 mn (USD 1.12 bn), according to Wu Yong, Vice President of engineering management at Sinoma, the Chinese firm responsible for mechanical works.

The Beni Suef plant produced its first clinker in December, while cement production would begin in about 10 days, according to another official working at the plant.