7 January 2013

Kenya: Sh12 Billion Pokot Cement Project Fails to Take Off

Construction of the Sh12 Billion Pokot Cement Factory has failed to take off, six months to the time it was set to be completed.

Though the Director of Cemtech Sanghi Group, Rajesh Kumar Rawal, had early last year pledged to have the plant completed by May this year, nothing has so far taken place at the site.

The Government has supplied power to the construction site at Sebit near Ortum but residents say they are worried that the plant may not take off.

The plant was expect to produce more than 1.2 million tonnes of the material annually and directly employ hundreds of area residents. "Its a complex project but we are committed to completing it within the next 15 months so that it is commissioned," said Rawal in March last year.

Rawal has been giving regular updates on the firm but has since failed to honour the pledges and his phones have been off air over long periods of time. The project was commissioned by Prime Minister Raila Odinga last year but the site has since remained bare.

The company has bought land, made donations to 20 schools and other projects as part of its cooperate social responsibility to the community.

It has also acquired an office and residential premises at Kapenguria and Sebit for staff. Rawal had said designs for the plant, machinery and equipment had been completed in India and China and the machinery would be moved to Kenya within set time lines.

The firm acquired 650 acres of freehold land in Pokot at a cost of Sh120 million for the project site. The plant was expected to have the latest technology comprising fully automated manufacturing systems and controls, well-equipped chemical and physical laboratories to meet international standards.

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