By Franklin Alli

The government of Senegal has slammed a new cement tax of $4.84 per ton of cement on the country’s three cement plants run by Dangote Cement, Ciments du Sahel and Sococim.

Investigation by Vanguard showed that the new tax took effect from January 2, 2017.

It was further learnt that the tariff increase has been attributed to a 25 percent surge in exports, although local sales have also risen slightly.

According to data from the Directorate of Forecasting and Economic Studies (DPEE) in Senegal, cement production rose by 10 percent year-on-year to 5.15 million metric tonnes in the first 10 months of 2016 from 4.68 million metric tonnes in the same period in 2015 at the Ciments du Sahel and Sococim plants.

Recall that Dangote Cement plants in Senegal started production more than two years ago. ‘The new plant, located in the Pout district of Senegal, is about 75 kilometres from Dakar, the country’s capital, and has a nominal capacity to produce 4,000 metric tonnes per day and 1.2 million metric tonnes per annum.

The plant is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs, with a total production capacity of 1.5 million metric tons annually.

Country head of Dangote Industries Senegal, Luk Haelterman, disclosed that the group has invested about $300 million in the cement plant.

He added that production and sales started on 10 January 2015. “Senegal is a market with overcapacity of cement, because it had two cement plants already. Dangote has become the biggest and best because we produce only 42.5R grade cement, which is better than 32.5R grade cement product there,” said Haelterman.

He added, ‘In this country, Dangote will not only stop at producing cement, we also have helped beyond cement, which is the idea of the owner, to become a pan-African enterprise.

‘Senegal is a market with over-capacity of cement, because it had two cement factories before now. But today, Dangote has become the biggest and best because we are producing the 42.5R grade only, which is better than what we met on ground, which is the 32.5R.

The Sales and Marketing Director, Serigne Dieng, noted that Senegal, with 14 million people and a Gross Domestic Product growth of four per cent, had a cement market of three million metric tonnes per year and a per capita consumption rate of 230 kilogrammes.

“Now, we have more capacity and Dangote Cement is exporting two million metric tonnes to Mali and the Gambia through rail,”  he said.

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