ARM bets on new technology to lower cement prices

ARM chief executive officer Pradeep Paunrana
ARM chief executive officer Pradeep Paunrana. PHOTO: NATION/SALATON NJAU
ARM Cement has adopted new technology that is expected to significantly lower the costs of its building materials.

The cement maker’s chief executive Pradeep Paunrana says expensive technologies used in the construction industry are partly to blame for the high building costs that have denied many Kenyans decent housing.

Mr Paunrana said that construction industry players can help mitigate this situation by employing latest technologies that can help to lower the cost of key building products such as cement.

“The new technology now enables us to economically and efficiently produce some of the industry’s high end products like RX5 – the 52.5 grade cement which allows a contractor to produce concrete of class 70 and this is the cement that contractors would need to build a 30-40-50 storeys,” Mr Paunrana told a construction stakeholders expo on Monday.

ARM, which is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, is also a leading maker of sodium silicate, lime, industrial minerals, formulated fertilizers and special building products in East and Southern Africa.

The cement maker reported a pre-tax loss of Sh645 million for the nine months to September, which was attributed to the depreciation in regional currencies against the US dollar.

The firm, which reported a pre-tax profit of Sh1.6 billion in the same period of 2014, said the revenue for the first nine months of 2015 rose 7 percent to Sh11.7 billion on higher cement sales in Kenya and Tanzania.

A construction boom in the region has lifted demand for cement in recent years, a situation that has seen cement makers embark on major expansion drives to meet the rising demand for the material.

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