Lebanon Businessnews News

Baalbek cement
plan to seek license
$200 million project stirring controversy
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Moussawi Industry and Trade (MIT) is planning to establish a factory for cement in Jenta, Baalbek, near the Syrian border.

The company gained approval from the Jenta municipality and will submit the application to the Ministry of Industry to gain the license.

Ahmad Moussawi, Partner in MIT, said: “The main reason behind opening this factory is to meet local and Syrian needs.”

Moussawi said the size of the land dedicated for this project is 900,000 square meters. The cost of investment is estimated at around $200 million. He said that a German company will be assigned to build the factory, but did not disclose its name. The company will first conduct a market study for the required built-up area and the production capacity.

Jenta residents complained that theirs is a small village and the factory could cause environmental damage and diseases like cancer and lung problems. Jenta Mayor, Ahmad Ayoub said the he gave the license approval, after a study conducted by environmental experts had assured him that the project would not cause any damage against the environment or residents.

Moussawi said: “Maintaining the residents’ health is our main concern and we will not purchase lands that are near residential areas.”

A few months ago a similar license was given by the Zahle municipality for the construction of a cement factory in Haouch El Oumara. Zahle residents also complained about environmental and health hazards. Zahle Mayor, Joseph Maalouf, who had approved the license, later overturned his previous decision after discovering that the factory would be near residential areas. But in the case of the Jenta factory, Moussawi said that it will be 500 meters near the Syrian border and far from the residential area of Jenta.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Mar 13, 2015
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