The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, invested 80 million euros in the Titan Group subsidiary Alexandria Portland Cement Company (APCC) in 2010. The investment provided the IFC with a 15.2 percent equity stake in Alexandria Portland Cement Company, through Titan’s holding company Alexandria Development Limited (ADL). Alexandria Portland Cement Company is one of two Titan Group entities which received IFC investment totaling 180 million Euros in a bid to expand the Group’s cement manufacturing operations in Egypt and thereby facilitate the growth of the country’s construction and infrastructure sectors.
Alexandria Portland Cement Company’s cement plant is located in the Wadi al-Qamar area of Alexandria, Egypt. The plant dates back to 1949 when it was owned by the Egyptian government. It was subsequently privatized in 2000, and then incorporated into Alexandria Portland Cement Company in 2007. The IFC identified a number of potentially beneficial development impacts to the local economy arising from its investment at the project approval stage including employment generation and retention; additional capacity support to the low-income housing market and major construction projects in the surrounding areas (New Cairo communities, Smart city, AUC campus); and higher environmental and social standards at the plant.
As a client of the IFC, APCC is obliged to uphold the IFC’s Environmental and Social Performance Standards. Far from upholding “higher environmental and social standards” and serving the development needs of the local community, APCC has been accused of violating these standards by damaging the health and livelihoods of the local community through exposure to harmful emissions and dust; violating labor and worker’s rights; and polluting the environment. A complaint by Egyptian rights groups, community members, and laborers was filed against APCC with the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) on April 8, 2015. The CAO, the IFC’s independent grievance mechanism, has since deemed the complaint eligible to move through the grievance process.