Cement industry first in Suleimaniya
Factories can create more job opportunities for the unemployed
As the second Iraq Cement Conference was held in Suleimaniya during March 26th and 27th, it was indicated that Suleimaniya is the first cement producing province of Iraq with 19.2 thousand tons of cement per day.
Suleimaiya Governor stated during the conference that the Arbat Industrial City will be complete by 2020.
As part of the economic and industrial developments in the country, cement industry has witnessed significant growth in the past few years, and Suleimaniya has taken the lead in cement production among all the Iraqi provinces.
The conference, under the title “Let us Together Build a Federal Iraq” was held under the auspices of the Iraqi Minister of Industry and Minerals and hosted by the Iraqi National Cement Company.
Bahroz Mohammed Salih, the governor of Suleimaniya, told the conference attendants in an address that in 1991 only 6% of Iraq’s industry was in Kurdistan Region, while now the Region has 49% share in the countries industry, in which Suleimaniya is taking the lead with 30%.
“Currently three large factories, namely Tasluja, Bazian and Mass, are producing cement in the province, creating around 2,000 job opportunities,” Governor Salih said. “This makes Suleimaniya number one in industrial sector in Iraq, and especially in the cement industry.”
Salih also added that during the past few years 11 cement factory licenses have been awarded in Suleimaniya, some of them are already complete and the others are under execution.
Economists argue that cement industry can help boost economy via creating a large number of employment opportunities and helping develop the economic infrastructure.
Aras Khalid, a local economist argues that cement industry can be very beneficial for Kurdistan’s economy and can be further developed since the raw materials for this product are abundant in the Region.
Currently a number of cement factory projects are under implementation in the Arbat Industrial City. Moreover, another industrial zone is planned for in Suleimaniya.
“We are currently completely prepared for the implementation of the two industrial zones in Suleimanya Province, which will be dedicated for heavy and middle industries,” Governor Salih said.
Regarding environmental concerns and pollution, Salih argued that they cannot ignore this national wealth for one reason.
“Our plan is to keep a bal- ance between environment and industry, and our mechanism is forcing manufactures to install advanced filtration systems to filter harmful gases, smoke and dust from the factories on the one hand, and increase the green areas on the other as a condition for awarding manufacturing license.”