Over the past few weeks, rumours of a ‘glut’ in Nigeria have been coming to a head. Indeed, since the report late in 2012 that Nigeria had become self-sufficient with regard to cement, the tension has been mounting. There have been few solid facts to come out of the situation, with all kinds of theories appearing in the local press. However, Dangote-owned Benue Cement Plant has been forced to close as a result of surplus stock, echoing the temporary closure of the Gboko plant, on 6 December 2012, just one month ago.
The latest development is the formation of an industrial pressure group, Nigeria Content Roundtable, which has called on the federal government to take action by putting a stop to imports in order to prevent the alleged glut from having detrimental effects on the industry. In its press release, the group focussed on the need to protect local manufacturers and, therefore, the local economy and jobs.
Outside of Nigeria, business is somewhat more prosperous for Dangote Cement. As we reported on 2 January 2013, the company has announced its plans to launch a cement plant in Pout, Senegal, in 2014. The plant will constructed to be identical to the company’s Ibese Cement Plant in Nigeria, using the same equipment thoughout. As with the Ibese plant, Sinoma will be the main contractor. As many of you will know, the plant at Ibese is currently being extended to double production to 12 million tpa by mid-2014.
The new Pout plant will double Senegal’s national production capacity, creating 900 jobs directly, and an estimated further 3000 indirect jobs. Dangote is expanding its operations in Ghana too. As it announced on 9 January 2013, it is committed to supplying the Ghanaian market, and as a symbol of this, the company will be scaling up the volumes of its cement on the market. Here, the company has spent the last three years trying to source limestone deposits in industrial quantities, in order to produce clinker locally and remove one of the several challenges that it has faced in the country. Indeed, Company officials have said that it is poised to make a huge impact on the Ghanaian cement market and the country’s economy as a whole. As an example, if Ghana consumes 3 million tpa of clinker, the Bank of Ghana would need to spend US$270 million pa in foreign exchanges to support the imports. In the meantime, it is intended that the Ibese plant will supply the Ghanaian market.
Written by Jack Davidson.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/africa-middle-east/11012013/dangote_plant_closure_nigeria_and_senegal_ghana_plans_825/