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TASHKENT, March 1 (TCA) — The Oman Investment Fund has refused to participate in the construction of a cement plant in the Surkhandarya region in southern Uzbekistan, a government source told TCA.

“The Omani fund has decided not to participate in the project, believing it to be unprofitable. The agreement has been terminated,” the source said.

In March 2010, Uzbekistan and Oman signed an intergovernmental agreement on the basic principles of a joint venture to build a cement plant in the Surkhandarya region worth approximately US $250 million. The Oman Investment Fund was supposed to own a 50% stake in the joint venture, the national company Uzbekneftegaz a 40% stake, and Uzstroymaterialy a 10% stake.

The plant would produce special types of cement, including oil-well cement for the oil and gas industry with a capacity of 1.7 million tons per year. The two sides planned to start the construction in 2012.

Currently, Uzbekistan has six cement plants with a total installed capacity of about 7 million tons. According to official statistics, cement production in Uzbekistan in 2012 increased by 1.3%, to 6.78 million tons.

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