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Wed 11 Jun 2008 05:09 PM

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Union Cement eyes using coal as fuel

UAE cememt producers look for alternative fuels to meet demand of booming construction sector.

Union Cement Co., the UAE's third largest producer by market value, said on Wednesday it is considering using coal to fire one of its kilns instead of natural gas or heavy fuel.

Cement makers in the UAE are turning to imported coal as gas is scarce and a petrodollar-fuelled building boom shows no signs of letting up.

Ras Al-Khaimah-based Union Cement said in a statement on the bourse website its board had approved presenting a feasibility study on switching its kiln 3 to coal from heavy fuel and natural gas.

It gave no further details.

Home to the world's fifth biggest gas reserves, the UAE has failed to tap fields quickly enough to meet spiralling demand.

The construction sector has a double hunger for coal, used as both a kiln fuel for cement making and a raw material in the process. (Reuters)

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