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Savannah Cement eyes double capacity to supply East Africa

Ronald Ndegwa
Savannah Cement Company's managing director Ronald Ndegwa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Savannah Cement Company is doubling its production capacity to 2.4 million tonnes in a multi-billion shilling investment at its Athi River plant as it targets the exports market within East Africa.

It is also eyeing State projects like the affordable housing under the Big Four Agenda that would require increased production.

Savannah, which started operations in 2012, is producing 1.2 million tonnes and wants a larger share of the Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan markets in a plan aimed at cutting reliance on the Kenyan market.

As part of expansion plans, the firm, is undertaking a Sh5 billion grinding plant expansion at its Athi river hub.

Ronald Ndegwa, the managing director, said they were constructing a 1.2 million tonne milling plant to double installed capacity.

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“We are banking on the regional market opportunities and those presented by the affordable housing projects under the Big Four agenda which promise better prospects for the local cement market,” said Mr Ndegwa.

Global cement firms have been seeking to expand to Africa to take advantage of rapidly growing economies and major public transport and other infrastructure projects.

Cement consumption in Kenya dropped for the second year in a row to 5.49 million tonnes in 2018, pointing to a sluggish growth in the real estate sector.

Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics up to December last year shows that consumption dropped from 5.78 million tonnes, sending it to the lowest since 5.19 million tonnes used in 2014.

Last year, cement makers cut production by 8.6 percent to 5.63 million tonnes from 6.7 million tonnes in 2016.

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