Maasai Group of Companies has invested Sh1 billion in a new cables manufacturing company, targeting customers in the local and regional markets.
The plant in Kajiado County is expected to increase competition in the industry where the major players include East African Cables and importers who source products from Asian markets.
The company, through its subsidiary Maasai Cables Company, set up the plant on seven acres of land in Isinya town. It has the capacity to produce 150 tonnes of copper and 100 tonnes of aluminium per month.
Maasai is manufacturing a wide range of cables including armoured, flexible, submersible, domestic and concentric cables.
The company plans to expand its capacity to 1,000 tonnes of cable per month in the next one year.
The major customers of cable manufacturers include Kenya Power, builders of homes and office blocks as well as makers of batteries.
Local cable producers have faced stiff competition from importers, some of whom have been accused of shipping in cheaper and substandard products.
Speaking at Isinya during the launch of the plant, various stakeholders reiterated the need for observing safety measures by using quality materials.
Mr Kiplang'at Chelule, the company’s quality assurance and production manager, says the firm realised a gap in quality of products in the market which it is seeking to fill.
“We have strategically invested in modern technology to ensure high quality products and cut in the cost production. Our cost effective fire retardant cables will be a game changer in the market,” Mr Chelule said.
Manufacturers have raised complaints of increased importation of counterfeit cables, urging the government to ban them. The players are also educating customers on identification and use of original, high quality products.
“Our cable subsector has also been affected by influx of substandard and counterfeit products,” East African Cables said in its latest annual report.
“The sale of these illicit goods not only deprives the government of much needed revenue, it places consumers at increased risk of fire and other electrical hazards. We continue to engage government agencies to curb this menace.”