China Wu Yi makes Sh10bn bet on new Kenyan factory

Workers assemble a precast wall of an apartment.
Workers assemble a precast wall of an apartment. PHOTO/COURTESY
China Wu Yi has embarked on construction of a highly automated and mechanised precast building materials plant in Athi River, Machakos County, which it hopes will help grow its business in the region.

The upcoming factory, which is expected to be completed in ten months, will produce precast components such as wall panels, staircases, lift shafts, foundation piles and hollow core slabs among others.

The plant will sit on a 30-acre parcel of land off Mombasa Road and it will be undertaken by the Chinese firm’s local subsidiary China Wu Yi Precast (Kenya) Company Limited.

According to China Wu Yi chairman Qiu Liangxin, the project – which is the first of its kind to be established overseas by the firm – will involve the establishment of industrial base for research, production, marketing and display of precast elements in the country.

“The development of prefabricated building is significant to the transformation of construction, with advanced guarantee on construction quality and safety,” Mr Liangxin said during the ground breaking ceremony at the weekend.

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China Wu Yi has teamed up two German companies: Nemetschek to provide the software for the design of the housing parts and Ebawe Anlagetechnik to supply equipment for the concrete pre-casts production.

The precast elements produced by the new factory will be sold to other construction firms as well as individual customers who will be able to acquire custom precast panels to fit their housing designs thereby cutting construction costs and time.

China Wu Yi, which last year won Sh10 billion worth of construction tenders in Kenya, is betting on the increasing acceptance of new building technology among Kenyans to grow it business.

Local property developers are increasingly embracing prefabricated building technology as they seek to cut construction costs and maximise returns.