Iranian firm to set up cement factory in Herat

KABUL (PAN): An agreement on coal extraction and cement production in western Herat province was inked between the Afghan Ministry of Mines and an Iranian firm on Sunday.

During the first phase of the project, the Iranian company Peshgaman Sanat-i-Majad will invest $150 million in establishing a cement factory that will produce one million tonnes of cement in Zinda Jan district.

Minister of Mines Wahidullah Shahrani said the project would boost Afghanistan’s annual revenue by $10 million (492,200,000 afs).

The company would extract coal from the Pahlawanan mine for use in cement production that would start in two years and a half, the minister said, adding that the pact would be valid for 30 years.

Under the agreement, the firm will give the Afghan government a royalty of two dollars per tonne of cement production and 20 percent of the factory income in tax. Additionally, company would also give $20 as tax per a tone of coal extraction.

Under the contract, the company will have to hire Afghans, establish a clinic and construct houses for workers and a mosque in the area, Shahrani said. A recreational park will also be created and education facilities provided for workers’ children.

The construction of an 11 kilomentres road is among the company’s responsibilities. The government has obtained a $1.5 million guarantee from the firm, which was selected from amongst 13 bidders.

Ibrahim Bai Salami, the Peshgaman Sanat-i-Majad head, was happy with the award of the contract and promised they would implement the agreement in the best possible manner.

The Afghan government would get a $10 million profit as a result of the agreement that would reduce cement prices by 20 percent, he concluded.


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