Devki billionaire in 750m tonne Coast cement plant

Devki Group founder and CEO Narendra Raval. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Devki Group founder and CEO Narendra Raval. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Building material billionaire Narendra Raval plans to invest in a 750-million tonne cement plant on a 20-hectare land in Mariakani, Kilifi County. This will be the second factory in the county after ARM Cement #ticker:ARM.

Mr Raval, popularly known as Guru, owns a cement grinding plant in Lukenya, Machakos and a clinkering plant at Simba town, Kajiado. His Devki Group owns steelmaking factories in Athi River, Machakos and Ruiru town, Kiambu.

The investment comes at a time players are talking of excess capacity. Bamburi and Savannah plan to increase cement production soon.

Karsan Ramji and Sons’ Ndovu brand is expected to hit the market shortly while Global Choice Ltd also plans to build a Sh5 billion cement plant in Athi River next month once environment agency grants them a nod.

“When we launched our operations six years ago, our goal was to reduce the cost of housing and it is being realised as I have managed to offer quality cement at Sh550 ex-factory compared to the then market price of Sh700 per 50-kilogramme bag before our entry,” he said.

“Construction of a new cement plant will further bring down the prices while reducing the long distances lorries cover to deliver cement to Kenyans at their doorstep.”

On Tuesday, he put the total investment at Sh30 billion.

Official filings indicate the facility will provide employment for 900. According to the National Environment Management Authority, Mr Narendra, 59, bought the land from Greenbelt Warehouses Ltd that had acquired a change-of-user licence from commercial to industrial use.