Dangote picks Chinese firm to build Kenya cement plant

Dangote Plc president Aliko Dangote.
Dangote Plc president Aliko Dangote. PHOTO/COURTESY
Dangote Plc has signed a deal worth Sh447 billion with Sinoma International Engineering Co. to build cement factories in several African countries including Kenya.

Dangote, majority-owned by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, has previously announced plans to build a three-million-tonne-a-year cement plant in Kenya in its bid to expand its production capacity.

The plant is expected to cost at least Sh50 billion.

The billionaire has already received Nairobi’s approval to prospect for limestone at Kanziku-Simisi in Kitui.

Besides Kenya, Sinoma International is expected to build other plants in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Zambia, Niger, Mali, Senegal, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire , with another in Nepal – all of which will push Dangote’s capacity to about 70 million tonnes from the current 45 million tonnes.

“The projects are going to be delivered within the next 30 months,” Mr Dangote said. “We are not going to stop there. By 2020 we are targeting 100 million tonnes.”

Mr Dangote, who was speaking on Wednesday during the signing ceremony in Lagos, said the Chinese firm had already built more than ten plants across the continent for his company.

“We have been partnering with Sinoma for a very long time and I can tell you that they are very reliable to handle these projects,” he said.

The entry of Dangote into Kenya is likely to shake up the local market, especially since the country’s production capacity has been running ahead of consumption for nearly a decade.

READ: Dangote fuels price war fears in Kenya

However, the rapid expansion roads and other key infrastructure across the region is hoped to ensure adequate demand for the construction material thus cushioning the market players against the risk of oversupply.

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