23 January 2013

Zambia: Dangote to Open Lusaka Plant

DANGOTE Cement PLC is set to open another US400 million cement plant in Lusaka next year, bringing its total investment in Zambia to $800 million, executive director Monica Musonda has said.

Ms Musonda said plans to open another 1.5 million tonne per annum capacity plant in the capital city after the completion of the Ndola plant next year have reached an advanced stage.

"The opening of the Dangote Ndola plant which is situated in Masaiti will make Dangote the biggest cement producer in the country producing 3,000 tonnes per day. The local cement production scenario will never be the same again with the coming of Dangote which has now entered the Zambian market," Ms Musonda said.

Ms Musonda said this on Monday when Bank of Zambia(BoZ) Governor Michael Gondwe toured the Dangote construction site in Masaiti District.

A Chinese construction and engineering firm Sinoma has been engaged to construct the Dangote plant while the contractor engaged to construct the Lusaka plant would be announced once the construction process takes off.

She said like the Dangote Ndola plant, the Lusaka plant would be constructed using the latest technology which was used in Europe and the United States (US), which among other things, did not release emission which pollutes the environment.

Meanwhile Dangote PLC regional commercial manager Venkie Srinivasan said in an interview that his company expected a 40 to 45 per cent share of the local cement market after the opening of the Ndola plant in the third quarter of next year.

"As Dongote we have a policy of first satisfying the domestic market before thinking of meeting the export market demands," he said.

Mr Srinivasan said by opening of the 1.5 million tonnes cement plant on the Copperbelt and later a similar one in Lusaka, Dangote Industries in Zambia was set to meet the demand on the local construction and mining sector.

He however said, the high quality of Dangote cement would compete favourably on the domestic and export markets.

Dangote Industries was targeting the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which offered a huge export market for Zambia cement.

Dr Gondwe said the huge investment by the Dangote Cement PLC was a sign of investors' confidence in the Zambian economy which was as a result of the favourable economic policies put in place by the Government.

"The creation of 6,000 jobs once the Dangote Ndola plant is opened clearly shows that Government plans to create thousands of jobs in one year was achievable," he said.

Dangote Industries general manager in charge of projects Anand Kameshwar said the Ndola plant has over 30,000 tonnes of limestone deposits to be mined within a period of 80 to 100 years.

It is expected that 1,000 jobs directly and 6,000 jobs indirectly would be created once the plant became operational next year.

Dangote Industries Zambia Limited is part of the Dongote Cement PLC, which is owned by Aliko Dangote, who is ranked by the Forbes Magazine as Africa's richest man and the 76th richest person in the world and is worth US12 billion.

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