AMMAN - Lafarge Jordan on Monday said that its shareholders have unanimously approved the company's future development plans that include turning the site for cement production in Fuheis, near Amman, into a green urban hub.
In a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times, Lafarge Jordan said shareholders tasked the management during a meeting for the general assembly last week to follow up on the implementation of future plans.
The company also said it is about to start a solar energy project at Rashadiyah factory in the southern governorate of Tafileh in a bid to reduce production costs, adding that the cement manufacturing company will also explore the possibility of receiving liquefied gas supplies from Aqaba.
Lafarge Jordan Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amr Reda briefed shareholders on the company's vision for its production site in Fuheis to develop it as an environment-friendly urban city as the envisioned project would include a university, a hospital, a hotel, shopping malls, residential and commercial properties, medical facilities and restaurants, adding the scheme -- if implemented -- would create job opportunities for the local community.
Reda said that Lafarge Jordan has started to work an engineering consulting firm to develop the master plan for the project, adding designs were sent to authorities to study the investment plan, according to the statement.
Lafarge Jordan is considering the development plan as it seeks a solution to financial costs of around JD10 million annually the Fuheis factory has incurred due to compensations paid the local community over environmental impact despite being non-operational since 2013, Reda was quoted as saying in the statement, adding that the company is seeking a mutual agreement with residents of Fuheis over the envisaged project that would serve both parties.
Residents of Fuheis, some 20km northwest of Amman, are against the development plan as they claim that the land of 1,880 dunums was appropriated from them by the government in 1951 for public use and then sold to cement factory in the 1990s.
On the value of the project, Reda told The Jordan Times in February of this year that it would exceed JD2 billion.
During the general assembly, shareholders approved the financial statements of 2015, which showed that net profits reached JD9.7 million last year compared with JD3.3 million in 2014.