Company under female management will eventually produce 1 million tonnes of cement and employ 500 people in the Gobi region
A newly opened dry process cement plant is set to boost Mongolia’s domestic supply of building materials at a time when the country is looking to stimulate new investment and construction.
The technologically and environmentally advanced Senj Sant cement plant was opened on 13 August 2015 in Urgun Soum, Dornogovi province, 450 km from the capital Ulaanbaatar.
The project has several unique features. First, the plant will be the first greenfield cement plant in Mongolia to use the environmentally friendly dry process. It is especially significant in the Gobi region where water is scarce. The plant will use the latest know-how in energy-saving technologies – currently used by only 10 per cent of similar sites in the European Union.
Second, it will make provision for a waste heat recovery power plant, which will help save energy and water.
Third, the project includes a gender action plan, which means there will be more opportunities for women. The Senj Sant company is already a success story in terms of female entrepreneurship. Most of the directors of Senj Sant are women. The plant will be overseen by Munkhnasan Narmandakh, the female CEO of its parent holding company, Monpolymet Group, one of Mongolia’s leading mining operations. The holding company has an all-female board of directors.
The EBRD provided a financing package of US$ 85 million, which consisted of a US$ 20 million equity investment and a US$ 65 million loan to Senj Sant. The Development Bank of Mongolia lent US$ 65 million.
The remaining US$ 80 million of the total project cost of US$ 230 million was funded by the Monpolymet Group.
The EBRD’s senior banker in charge of the project, Azjargal Ulziitogtokh, attended the opening ceremony on behalf of the Bank and said: “This project will be a major step towards establishing domestic cement supply and substituting for imports. It is also important for the country’s economic diversification.”
“The EBRD is proud to highlight that the project meets EU requirements and will be using best available technology. Personally, as a Mongolian female professional, I am also very pleased to say that the company has a gender action plan to ensure equal opportunities, which goes beyond industry standards, not only in Mongolia but in the whole region where the EBRD works.”
To date, the EBRD has committed over US$ 1 billion to Mongolia’s economy. All of the Bank’s projects so far have supported private sector companies.