By Franklin Alli
DANGOTE Cement Plc, and Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc will next month, commission two new cement plants with a total grinding capacity of 8.5 million metric tonnes per annum.
Sources close to the two companies, told Vanguard, Tuesday, that the two new plants are Dangote Cement, Ibese, and Lafarge’s Lakatabu plant Agbesi Estate, all in Ogun State.
In a respective statements, the Sources said that while Dangote Cement, Ibese will be grinding 6 million metric tones yearly, Lakatabu will be doing 2.5 million metric tones per annum, this bring the total production capacity of the two plants to 8.5 million metric tonnes per annum.
The Sources further said that the six million capacity ultra modern factory will be complementing the existing Obajana plant of 7 million metric tons capacity. This will bringing the total capacity of Dangote Cement alone to more than 16 million metric tonnes annually, when BCC, Gboko is added.
“With the new factory coming on steam in a months time, the Nigerian economy is expected to witness an all-time increase in supply of cement and at the same time, prices are expected to crash with a combination of other market forces put together,” he said.
On the implication for the economy, the source, believes that apart from increase in local and export supply as well as the expected reduction in price, it is also expected to absorb hundreds of people for employments.
Similarly, our source, at Lafarge said that Lakatabu “is Lafarge’s own way of responding to the federal government’s backward integration policy which aims at self-sufficiency in cement production.
According to him, the 2.5 million tones of cement addition to Lafarge Cement WAPCO would go along way in achieving an appreciable stability in the nation’s cement sub-sector and that the availability will in the long run impact positively on the affordability on the side of the customers.
With this development, he explained that Lafarge Cement WAPCO will be contributing about 12,000 tones of cement to the Nigeria cement market on a daily basis, after the commissioning of the Lakatabu plant in August, adding that the new plant would be a further testimony to the company’s leadership in innovation, as it has the capacity to produce four different qualities of cement to customers requirement better.
In line with the company’s commitment in engaging young Nigerians in gainful employment, over 3,000 people were engaged during the two-and-half years of building the state of the art plant with 70% of them being Nigeria, with a plan to hire about 600 employees after the commission to run the plan, with 95% of them being Nigerian, including 210 Lafarge WAPCO staff.”
“It is our favourite expression that leadership is not only about size, it is the positive influence that we bring to our market, our industry and nation at large.
Our commitments to innovation and customer care, adherence to high quality standards, several performance improvement activities, commitment to value of health and safety and corporate governance, will continue to differentiate us in the market place.”