Devki Steel has broken ground on a multi-billion shilling plant in Kwale, promising to create more than 1,000 direct jobs for the locals.
The plant, which is set to be completed in the next two years, will also generate an estimated 9,000 indirect jobs.
The steel mill is expected to boost the construction sector by cutting the cost of building materials.
“The firm will be the biggest in the region. The only others of such a kind are in Egypt and South Africa,” said Industry secretary Peter Munya Tuesday during its launch.
Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, his Machakos counterpart Alfred Mutua and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi also attended the groundbreaking.
Big Four boost
Mr Munya termed the plant a big boost to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda, which has manufacturing as one of the pillars.
The plant will have a capacity to produce half a million tonnes of steel, enough to supply most parts of Africa.
Devki Group chairman Narendra Raval said the mill once complete would have a big impact on the local economy.
“We chose Samburu in Kinango constituency because it is one of the poorest places in the country,” he said.
Mr Raval added that Devki already employs more than 4,500 people in the region.
The firm projects that its regional payroll count will hit 7,000 employees with completion of the Kwale plant.
Africa's second largest
The factory is billed to be the second-largest steel manufacturing plant in Africa after another one in South Africa.
Mr Raval urged other companies to invest in the country.
“Put your money and your heart here and Kenya will give you a better return and Kenya will be number one in Africa in ten years’ time,” he said.
Kinango MP Benjamin Dalu Tayari thanked Mr Naval for investing in his constituency and urged him to give employment priority to the locals.
Additional reporting by Lucas Barasa.