In recent weeks, there has been concern in Nigeria that the cement being produced is sub-standard and is responsible for a spate of building collapses. The focus has been on 32.5-grade cement, which manufacturers have defended, blaming instead a trend of poor building practices.
Throughout, Dangote Cement has defended its position by pointing out that its plants only produce 42.5-grade cement. Now, in response to the scare, the company has announced that its plants have been re-calibrated to produce 52.5-grade cement. According to reports, Dangote is the only cement company in Africa to produce this standard of cement. It has been approved by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), which confirmed that the product meets the requirements of NIS 444-2003 and other relevant standards.
Local press reports indicate that Dangote Cement plans to sell the new 52.5 grade cement at the same price as the 42.5, despite the increased costs involved in its production, so that it remains affordable. The new cement is suitable for all purposes, the company says, but particularly for civil construction or load-bearing structures.
Of course, producing a higher quality cement cannot entirely prevent building collapse. The concrete mix and building standards are equally important – if not more so. Both Dangote Cement and UniCem have run training seminars with block-makers to encourage the proper utilisation of cement. UniCem alone is training 5000 block-makers and has maintained throughout the building collapse scandal that the problem is not the cement quality, but the few ‘unscrupulous elements’ within the construction industry who are not adhering to proper construction methods.
Written by Katherine Guenioui
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/africa-middle-east/11032014/dangote_cement_recalibrates_plants_to_upgrade_quality_881/