NIGERIA – Dangote Cement Plc has announced the commencement of the construction of new cement plants in two communities in the country.
The new plants are expected to add nine million metric tonnes per annum to the company’s current local cement output from 29.25 million metric tonnes per annum (mmtpa) to 38.25 mmtpa
The company stated that the communities in which it is setting up the new plants are Okpella in the northern part of Edo State, with a three million per annum plant and another six million per annum capacity plants in Itori, in Ogun State.
The Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dangote Cement Plc, Devakumar Edwin, who made the announcement in Lagos, explained that the Okpella plant will be made up of one line and will produce a total of three million metric tonnes per annum, and the Itori plant which will deliver approximately six million tonnes per annum from two production lines.
Both plants are expected to come on stream within the next three years.
Devakumar said the move by the company was to help expand the spread of its manufacturing outfits, thereby reducing the transportation cost component of operations.
He added that the new investments will further lower cost of production; bring about future reductuon of the price of cement and also to generate employment opportunities for the youths of host communities.
Also speaking at the event, the Group Managing Director, Cement, Dangote Industries Limited, Onne Vander Weijde said the demand for cement was still high considering the level of population growth in Nigeria, saying that Nigeria’s per capita consumption of the building material which is just above 100 kilogram per capita is relatively low, indicating a massive growth potential.
“There has always been a surplus in demand because cement was not readily available, but ours is available and the prices are affordable.
Consumer prices have fallen by 35 per cent in naira terms, but if you take it in dollar terms and relate it with today’s parallel market rates, you will realise the price of the product has gone down in Nigeria, and in some cases below the prevailing average global price.
“This itself is a huge driver for increasing the per capita consumption,” he said.
He said with the capacity of the plants in Nigeria, the company can supply the entire western and central Africa region, maintaining that currently, Dangote cement is exporting cement to Niger, Ghana, Togo with plans to move up to the Ivory Coast.
“Nigeria had always been an import-dependent country in terms of cement in the past and if we do not add up capacities, we will not be able to match up the consumption rate in the country.