A Chinese firm has signed a deal worth $1.487 billion with Nigeria-based cement giant Dangote Group to build cement plants in several African countries including Kenya.
Owner of Dangote Group and Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote has in the past revealed intention to put up a plant in Kenya. He has already been given nod to prospect for limestone in Kanziku-Simisi, Kitui South sub-county by the county government.
The firm is also expected to unveil a cement factory in neighbouring Tanzania.
Beside Kenya, other plants to be built by China’s Sinoma International Engineering Co will be in Ethiopia, Zambia, Senegal, Niger, Mali, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire Ghana and Nepal. They are expected to add 25 million metric tonnes to Dangote’s existing capacity of almost 50 million tonnes of cement.
Mr Dangote told reporters on Wednesday at the signing ceremony in Lagos work on the plants would be completed within 30 months. He said the move is “another progressive step” toward the company’s plan to increase the total output of cement to 100 million tonnes by 2020.
“We have been partnering with Sinoma for a very long time and I can tell you that they are very reliable to handle this projects,” he said, noting that the Chinese firm had built several plants in Nigeria and other countries for his company.
The projects will include installation of equipment as well as mining, quarry and power facilities.
Shen Jun, chairman of Sinoma said the Chinese company had built more than 10 cement plants for Dangote Group since 2008 in several African countries.
He termed the cement plants and many other projects built by Chinese companies in Africa as part of the “prerequisites” for the continent’s industrialisation.
He promised to “bring the best technology from China to these projects” and to produce for African countries skilled local workers.
The signing ceremony was also attended by diplomats from China, Zambia and Niger. Dangote Group is the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa and one of the largest in Africa with businesses involving cement, sugar, flour, salt, pasta, beverages and real estate.