March 19, 2011

Cement: Dangote heads for 46mn metric tonnes across Africa

By Franklin Alli
DANGOTE Group is heading for a cumulative 46 million metric tonnes of cement production per annum across Africa.

Investigation conducted by Saturday Vanguard, showed that this move may not be unconnected with the group’s ambition to become the largest cement manufacturer in the content of Africa, and probably third in the world after France-based Lafarge and Holcim, in Switzerland.

Findings showed that locally, the group has a $1.2 billion cement factory in Obajana, Kogi State, said to be Africa’s largest cement production plant, and Benue Cement Company, Gboko, Benue State.  And there are Ibese cement plants in Ogun State, and another production lines in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Similarly, at the sub regional level, the group has invested $28 million in the 1.2 million metric tons per year. There is Tema cement factory in Ghana and in  South Africa, he’s also investing $112 million in 2.2 million tons a year Sephaku Cement plant billed to start production next year

Their latest foray is Senegal, where they are constructing a $500 million (N75 billion) 1 million metric tons single-line cement factory. What is driving the entrepreneurial spirit of President/Chief Executive Officer of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote to be establishing cement plants locally and in the Sub Saharan Africa?

According to Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President/ Chief Executive Officer,” the group is actually on the march to rival the largest cement companies in the world (Lafarge and Holcim) with 46 million metric tonnes of production capacity per annum by 2015.”

Dangote explained that  the 46 million metric tonnes will be garnered from its plants that would have been completed and producing across the continent.

He puts the breakdown from Dangote Cement Plants in Nigeria and the West African region at 30 million tonnes per year while the remaining 16.2 million tonnes annually will come from other African countries where it  is currently putting up plants.

“We already have a cement plant in Ghana and there are good market opportunities in other neighbouring countries such as Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Cote D’Ivoire.”

We also raised our stake in Sephaku Cement (Pty) Limited, which is based in South Africa, from 19.76 percent to 64 per cent in October last year, while we signed an investment promotion and Protection Agreement with the Government of Zambia, last December, to set up a cement plant that should be up and running by 2013.Only recently, we signed a deal with the Cameroonian Government to enable us to start production of cement in that country, and now we are in Senegal” he said.