By Franklin Alli
DANGOTE CEMENT Plc has further increased its production capacity across Africa through the addition of 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum in the Republic of Congo. The just completed new manufacturing plant is located at Mfila, outskirt of Brazzaville.
Speaking while giving an update on the project to journalists at the plant, Mr. Ganapathy Bala, Director of Operations, Dangote Cement Congo SA, said: “Dangote is the latest entrant into the cement industry in Congo; the company invested $350 million (about 133 million FCFA).”
He disclosed that before the entry of Dangote, the Congolese cement industry was dominated by Cimaf, Sonocc and Forspal, with combined capacity of 1.05 million metric tonnes; the addition of Dangote’s 1.5 million metric tonnes bring the country’s total capacity to 2.550 million metric tons.
“Cimaf is doing 500,000 metric tonnes per annum, followed by Sonocc 250,000 metric tonnes and Forspal 300,000 metric tonnes; the addition of Dangote’s 1.5 million metric tonnes is expected to bring the country’s total capacity to 2.550 million metric tonnes.
“Work has been completed on the project which started in 2014. We are now test-running the plant and by July 2017, we will deliver the first batch of 42.5 R grade of cement from the plant into the market,” he said.
While noting that the project will benefit all stakeholders, he said, “it will enhance Congo’s economy, save the country foreign exchange and also create employment for the four million population.” Fielding questions on job prospect, he said: “During construction, 1600 were engaged while the workforce after the project completion is nearly 400. Of this, 225 are local while 21 are foreigners. Our target is to employ 650.”
Vanguard further learned that with the new capacity from Congo plant, Dangote’s total production capacity across Africa now stands at over 40 million metric tonnes.