By NKIRUKA NNOROM
Dangote Cement Plc has said it is on track to deliver on its target of achieving 62million metric tons capacity utlisation by 2016 as it pursues its expansion to 13 African courtries.
Consequently, the company said it will commit over $5billion (about N800 billion) towards actualisation of the set goal.
Addressing the stockbroking community at the ‘Facts behind Figure’ presentation on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, the Group Managing Director/CEO, Dangote Cement, Mr. D.V.G. Edwin, said all the lines in its target markets are nearing completion and would commence operations.
According to him, commissioning of the Senegal Plant, which is expected to contribute 1.5MT per annum by the end of this year, has already commenced, while Ethiopia Plant expected to contribute 2.5MT by year end would commence operation before the end of 2014 financial year.
Furthermore, the Zambian and Cameroon Plants expected to deliver combined capacity utilization of 3.0MT per annum, would commence operation this year, while that of Sierra Leone would be up for commissioning by Q4, 2014, he said.
He noted that Dangote Cement currently accounts for 70 percent share of capacity of the cement market in Nigeria if no other plant is built.
He explained that while the cement market has been growing at average of 10.9 percent from 2004 to 2013, Dangote Cement’s monthly growth has been 20.9 percent as new capacity enabled it gain more market share.
“Dangote Cement has exceeded the market’s growth in 32 out of 36 months from January 2011 to December 2013. Only 2/36 months saw reduction compared to prior year,” he said.
He lamented shortage in gas/LPFO in the country, saying that it constrained the cement industry in the first half of the year.
Though he said that gas disruption is expected to continue in the remaining part of the year, the Dangote Cement boss said the company has taken steps to address the problem. According to him, the company has invested $80 million in coal facilities as gas-fired plants and is set to invest further $300 million to enable 100 percent use of coal across its plants in Nigeria.
He added that the company is planning to acquire oil/gas blocks to help also secure gas supplies. He stressed that the company is taking advantage of attractive trading condition within the ECOWAS FTZ to increase its reach across West & Central Africa, listing some of the attractions to include duty free trading between member countries, high tariffs on import from non-member states and cash incentives available when exporting from Nigeria.