As BUA Cement rolls out additional production lines
By Emeka Anaeto
THE output capacity of Nigeria’s cement industry is set to hit 45 million tonnes per annum by 2018, 1400 per cent up from about 3.0 million a decade ago, with the target completion date for the second line (Line-2) of BUA Group’s Okpella plant in the first quarter next year.
Officials of the company said though the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, two days ago, performed the ground breaking ceremony the actual construction works had started earlier this year reaching about 70 per cent completion level as at last week.
A similar project in Sokoto adds up to a total 12 million tonnes capacity being brought into the nation’s cement industry by BUA Group.
Welcoming guests at the commissioning of the 3.0 million tonne Okpella plant line-1 during the week, Chairman of BUA Group, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, said the feat delivered by the sector industrialists has not only made Nigeria self sufficient in cement production but also a net exporter of the commodity.
He stated: “The cement sub-sector today represents over 90 per cent of the Nigerian mining sector and employs some 30,000 people directly and over two million people indirectly. It also saves the Nigerian economy some $2 billion in foreign exchange.
Rabiu added that the event essentially was “the commissioning of one of the best cement plants anywhere in the world. It is engineered to be the most environmentally friendly cement plant in Africa with the most advanced duct emission systems. Our technology has the latest filtration with capacity of less than 10 milligram per normal meter use. We use natural gas, which is a very clean energy for both our kiln as well as the power plant in addition to having a very green environment.”
BUA entered into the Nigerian Cement industry in 2008 with the acquisition of BUA Cement-1, a two-million tonner floating cement terminal that was able to process bulk cement into bags on a vessel.
The trajectory of the Group’s cement operation saw it acquire a controlling stake in the publicly listed Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc (CCNN), as well as in Edo Cement Company Limited in the same year. The company went on to invest in the construction of a greenfield 3.0 million tonnes plant in Okpella (Obu), Edo State, which was also commissioned by Osinbajo two days.
Osinbajo, in his remarks, said the plant will further boost the economy of the country, while lauding BUA Group for the use of modern technology in the factory. He stated: “For us as a government, we are doing all we can to encourage investors at this time. We are committed to creating an enabling environment”.
Also speaking, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, commended BUA Group for the investment and also lauded the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration for creating an enabling and economic driven environment for investors to thrive.
Obaseki said his government will continue to encourage investors for more mind blowing investments such as seen in BUA Group’s cement.