Cemtech Limited, the firm licensed to build a cement factory in Pokot, has said the project will cost more than the projected Sh12 billion due to the weakening of the Kenya shilling.
Cemtech’s managing director Rajesh Kumar told a media briefing that the weakening of the shilling was likely to inflate the cost of importing raw materials for the project beyond what the firm had projected.
“The weakening of the Kenya shilling against international currencies will drastically increase the projected cost of the project,” said Mr Kumar.
The company, a subsidiary of the Sanghi Group of India – world’s largest cement producer, had promised to begin construction of the factory shortly after the launch in June 2010 but the project is yet to start 18 months down the line.
“We have been forced to delay construction of the project because of the heavy rains that have damaged roads in the region, thus affecting transportation of raw materials from the port of Mombasa,” said Mr Kumar.
“However, we are committed to completing the project in two years. Engineers are currently on site assembling the factory’s requirements before embarking on the construction work,” he added.
The cement factory, which will be constructed on a 650-acre parcel of land at Ortum in West Pokot, is expected to be a key source of income to more than 10,000 residents once it becomes operational.