Business News of 2014-07-08

Dangote Cement to increase production

The Vice Chairman of Dangote Cement Ghana, Tajudeen Sijuede, says the company has successfully completed its cement processing plant in Tema, which will in the next few months produce 1.5million metric tonnes of cement per annum.
The company is also setting up another 1.5million metric tonne cement production facility in the Western Regional capital Takoradi.
The two new projects will enable the company to produce 3million metric tonnes of quality cement per annum.
Mr. Sijuede said: “We are establishing another clinker-grinding plant at Takoradi with capacity of additional 1.5million metric tonnes, which will be in operation by second quarter of 2015. The combined capacity of Dangote Cement in Ghana will be 3million metric tonnes, the highest capacity being distributed outside Nigeria.”
He indicated that the increase in the company’s production capacity will bridge the supply deficit currently faced by the construction sector.
The total production of cement in the country stands at seven million metric tonnes per annum. Ghacem, the largest supplier of cement in the country, has a market share of 58 percent, while Diamond Cement comes second at 25 percent. Relatively new entrant Dangote Cement controls 8 percent of the market share.
He assured that the company will continue to produce quality cement to its customers, saying: “When it comes to quality, we want to assure the public that when we start production we are still going to maintain our quality”.
He said when the expansion work is completed in Takoradi it will create about 1,200 jobs, and Tema will also increase its employees from 500 to 1,000.
He said this will help the company achieve its target of capturing 30 percent of the market share in the next three years.
Asked why the company suspended importation of cement into the country, he said it is not because the company does not want to bring cement into the country but because of foreign exchange challenges.
“This is a very critical situation for all of us who are importing into the country. Nobody wants to go out of business; we are here to stay because we have invested a lot into the economy.
“I am sure that the government is aware of this and we have held series of meetings with the Trade and Industry Minister. I think they will do something about it, and once we have foreign exchange we will have abundance of cement in Ghana,” he added.