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No more imports for Nigeria?

World Cement,

Aliko Dangote, owner of Dangote Cement, has told press that start-up of the 6 million tpa cement plant in Ibese means that Nigeria will no longer need to import cement, saving the country up to US$2 billion. The plant will be officially inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan on 9 February. In addition, Dangote has plans to increase capacity of the Obajana plant to 10.2 million tpa and has purchased 5000 trucks in an attempt to reduce the transportation costs that can have a significant impact on the price of cement. It is hoped that these combined measures will make cement more affordable for the Nigerian people, who have had to deal with huge fluctuations in cement prices while relying on imports.

These comments were made at a meeting of the Economic Management Team, where the focus was the power sector. Barth Nnaji, Nigerian Minister of Power, also spoke to press, confirming that he was pleased with the progress of the country’s power sector and the greater stability offered by the national grid.

Elsewhere in Nigeria, Ashaka Cement Plc, a subsidiary of Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria plc, is reportedly adding 300 000 t capacity to its current 1 million t in order to maintain its market share. The company’s chairman, Alhaji Umaru Kwairanga, told press that the feasibility study for this project has commenced, with no further updates on progress at this time. He also responded to questions about the rising cost of diesel and fuel oil and the impact of this on production costs, saying, “The company has commenced the burning of coal to fire its kilns. I think it is an advantage for us compared with other cement manufacturing companies.” Ashaka Cement is the only cement company in Nigeria using coal to fuel the production process.

Meanwhile, the local press continue to report on the possibility of a new plant in Ondo State, co-owned by Tetrach Cement Company and the state in an 80/20 split. This project was part of a state government campaign pledge dating back to 2007 that has not yet come to fruition. A recent news item shows a breakdown of the required funding, and also indicates that a considerable sum has already been spent, with nothing to show for it.

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