To further consolidate its pan-African operations, Dangote Cement Plc has concluded plans to begin production at its $300 million cement grinding plant in Congo this month.
At about ninety nine per cent completion rate, the company hopes to boost its production capability by a minimum of 1.5 million metric tonnes (MMT), to bring its total yearly manufacturing capacity to about thirty two million tonnes.
According to the company, the completion of a new cement producing line at Bouansa, Congo, brings it nearer to its goal of being the main exporter of cement in the continent.
The new plant is coming on the heels of the ongoing construction of a new 3 million MT capacity cement grinding plant in Cote D’ivoire. The Plant Director for Congo Operations, Ganapathy Balasubramanian, while providing insights into the company’s operations explained that the factory, that costs CFA 133 billion or about $300 million, is expected to meet the nation’s cement demand and cater for the export market in neighbouring countries within the region.
The project, that the Director said has aroused a lot of interest from both the government and people of Congo, is sitting on an 80-hectare land and is expected to strengthen the nation’s economy.
“Satisfying the current demand of the construction market in general, saving foreign currency expenditure and generating employment opportunities, are some of the benefits of this project,” he added.
When it commences operations, the 1.5 MMT capacity grinding plant will increase the overall capacity of local cement production in the francophone nation and provide direct and indirect jobs for over 1,600 individuals from within the country and other neighbouring countries.
Also, Balasubramanian said that Dangote Cement will be depend upon an on-grid power system in meeting its energy needs, as twenty megawatts are being supplied from the national grid, stressing that the mill has a potential utilization profile of ninety per cent once it commences operations.
As part of measures to boost quality of the product, Balasubramanian noted that the company is deploying automatic robot laboratory for quality check, adding the process will aid consistency and its ability to fulfil its obligations to customers.
Similarly, he explained that sustainability measures have also been put in place through the completion of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) exercise and protection of resources and people.Recall that the Dangote group also recently announced that it’ll be building new cement plants in 2 Nigerian communities of Okpella, Edo state and Itori, Ogun state.
The forthcoming Nigerian plants are expected to add 12MMT each year (mmtpa) to the company’s current native output of 31.25mmtpa, raising it to a total 41.25mmtpa.Dangote Group Executive Director, Strategy, Projects and Portfolio Management, Devakumar Edwin, had explained that the Okpella plant will have 2 cement lines which will churn out 3mmtpa each, while the Itori plant will deliver roughly 3mmtpa from 2 production lines. both plants are expected to come on stream within the next 3 years.
He explained that the company’s growth drive is targeted at increasing its spread nationwide, and reducing the transportation cost component of its operations.He also said that the new investments will lower the cost of production, bringing about a future reduction in the price of cement, and generate employment opportunities for youths of the host communities.