BY FRANKLIN ALLI

Dangote Group said it was set to commence the construction of the second phase of the six million metric tonnes per year Ibese cement plant.

In a statement by the company, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President/CEO, said:  “In a few weeks from here, we will start the construction of another 6 million metric tonnes per annum, which will take Ibese to 12 million metric tonnes per annum when completed. The new facility will be located 5km from the current plant.”

He said that the group’s aggressive expansion of its aggregate installed capacity of cement is to ensure self-sufficient in the production of the commodity and export by 2013, so that “this country never again has to import cement to meet her requirements.”

“All our Nigerian cement plants combined already give us a figure of over 20 million metric tonnes per annum capacity, making us a power house in cement production in Africa. We are not resting on our oars as plans have been concluded for a 5 million metric tonnes per annum line 4 at Obajana which will take the capacity to 15.25 mtpa.

“The aggressive expansion of our local production capacity at our plants is to ensure there is always adequate capacity to meet local demand and export so that this country never again has to import cement to meet her requirements.

“Dangote Cement plant Ibese is a modern plant with an installed capacity of 6 million metric tonnes of cement per annum and currently ranks as the largest cement in sub-Saharan Africa.  The plant consists of two production lines of three million metric tonnes per annum each.  We project that the plant will create jobs for 7,000 Nigerians and will in addition, substantially boost the supply of cement in the Nigerian market.

Increased supply from the Ibese plant will help stabilize supply to the market and ultimately will bring down market price of cement.  Our Gboko plant when we took over in 2004 had a rated capacity of 800 000 tonnes per annum. We have since then modernized and expanded its capacity first to 3.0 million metric tonnes per annum and now it is currently rated at 4 million metric tonnes per annum.

“We have also completed and are presently commissioning the expansion of our existing capacity at Obajana by the addition of a new line with a capacity of 5.25 million metric tonnes per annum to raise Obajana capacity to 10.25 million metric tonnes per annum, becoming the world’s largest cement plant. Mr. President, we are imploring you to also please accept our invitation to come and commission the new line in April on our ‘special day.’

“In line with our long-term vision to be the number one cement producer in the world, we have embarked on Pan-African expansion drive.  We are currently building new cement plants and setting up terminals in 14 African countries.  We envisage that by the time we complete all these projects, we will be in a position to produce about 60 million metric tonnes of cement by the end of 2014.  This will place us among the top eight cement producing companies in the world.”

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