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Uganda's Hima Cement eyes higher market share

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Hima plans to raise its market share and increase exports to neighbouring markets by doubling production capacity in early 2018.

Uganda's No.2 cement maker Hima, part of LafargeHolcim, has made plans to increase its market share and boost exports to neighbouring markets by doubling production capacity in early 2018.

Daniel Pettersson, the CEO of Hima, announced that the company planned to commission a new US$40 million production plant by early 2018, pushing annual cement production to 1.9 million t from the current level of 1 million.

Rapid property development and government projects to build bridges and roads are driving up demand for cement in the East African nation.

The company is also intending to build a new clinker production unit in the northeast of Uganda as part of the drive to raise capacity.

Total cement production in the country increased to 2.1 million t in 2014, from 2 million t in 2015.

Uganda accounts for approximately 70% of the company's annual cement sales, followed by Rwanda that makes up 20%, with rest shared between South Sudan and eastern Congo.

South Sudan is one of Uganda's key export markets but the outbreak of violence in July has made trade routes unsafe and curbed shipments.

Lack of a large limestone deposit in Uganda also presented a longer-term challenge to the company.

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