The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed a US$35mn loan to National Cement Company in Yemen.

IFC’s loan will support the construction of a greenfield cement plant at Al Anad, 70km north of Aden. The project will be one of the largest private sector investments in the country outside the oil sector.

The new plant will have an annual cement production capacity of 1.6mn tons and will include a 37.5MW diesel-fired power plant.

Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC’s director for global manufacturing and services, comments, “IFC’s financing will help increase the local availability of cement and hence promote further growth in major sectors of the economy, such as housing and infrastructure. In addition, the project will create close to 400 jobs and provide training opportunities.”

Michael Essex, IFC’s director for Middle East and North Africa, adds, “This is an excellent example of the role that IFC can play in promoting private sector-led growth in a critical segment of the Yemeni economy. The project is a landmark investment for Yemen and represents a large in-country investment by a local sponsor.”

National Cement Company is part of a group of businesses owned by the Hayel Saeed Anam family (HAS), a leading Yemeni group of industrial and trading companies. The project is strategic for HSA, as it represents HSA’s largest single greenfield project to date.