Saudi Yanbu Cement Co has restarted three of four production lines almost two months after a fuel shortage forced the firm to halt operations, it said on Monday.
In October, Yanbu Cement said Saudi Aramco had not responded to its requests for additional fuel needed to commission the plant’s fifth new production line. This caused the firm to divert fuel from its old units to test the new production line.
Halting the old production lines resulted in a loss of around 14.2 million riyals, the company said in a bourse statement.
“Until now, Saudi Aramco has not provided the needed fuel to operate the fifth line,” it added.
Saudi Aramco said it continues to supply all the fuel oil contracted by Yanbu Cement and no agreement was concluded in advance to secure additional supplies for the new line, which absolved Aramco from responsibility.
Shortage in subsidized fuel is threatening growth among Saudi cement firms amid rising demand in the top oil-exporter’s construction sector, the chief executive of Saudi Southern Province Cement Co (SPCC) told Reuters in October.