|Dangote Ibese plant producing at 100% capacity 2 months after commissioning, Friday, 13 Apr 2012|
(BusinessDay) The drive to make Nigeria a net exporter of cement has gained strength with Dangote Group's Ibese cement plant, commissioned some two months ago by President Goodluck Jonathan, now producing at 100 per cent capacity, BusinessDay can reveal. The Dangote Cement plant in Ibese, Ogun State, is a fully automated plant with an installed capacity of 6 million metric tonnes of cement per annum which currently ranks as the largest cement plant in sub-Saharan Africa.The plant consists of two production lines of three million metric tonnes per annum each. Dangote Group projects that the plant will create jobs for 7,000 Nigerians and will in addition substantially boost the supply of cement in the Nigerian market.BusinessDay, during a facility tour of the Ibese plant Wednesday, found the plant fully in operation. The two production lines were found churning out tons of 50-kilogramme of cement which end up in chains of trucks conveying them to different destinations.
Group CEO, Dangote Cement, Daijeet Sigh Ghai said: "We are happy to announce that just two months after commissioning, we are producing at full capacity. We are set to commence the construction of the second phase of the six million metric tonnes per year Ibese cement plant, an expansion that will take Ibese to 12 million metric tonnes per annum when completed," Ghai said. All Dangote Cement Nigerian plants combined already give a figure of 20.25 million metric tonnes per annum capacity, making it a power house in cement production in Africa. Total supply capacity of cement by all cement plants in Nigeria now is about 27 million metric tonnes per annum. Nigeria's current annual demand for cement is put at about 20 million metric tonnes per annum. It would be recalled that cement manufacturers in the country were given licences to import cement to fill supply gap of cement which was three million metric tonnes before now. Analysts hail the robust production expansion drive by cement manufacturers like Dangote in particular, and Lafarge Cement WAPCO, which has put this behind us.
Said Aliko Dangote president of Dangote Group: "The aggressive expansion of our local production capacity, at our plants, is to ensure there is always adequate capacity to meet local demand and export so that this country will never again import cement to meet her requirements. We have also completed and are presently commissioning the expansion of our existing capacity at Obajana by the addition of a new line with a capacity of 5.25 million metric tonnes per annum to raise Obajana capacity to 10.25 million metric tonnes per annum, becoming the world's largest cement plant. Aliko Dangote said his organisation was taking up the challenge to lead the way in making the nation self-reliant in cement production and, consequently, reduce its huge foreign exchange on imports. According to him, Dangote Cement intends to move away completely from import of certain commodities, of which cement is one, by strengthening the local production capacity. "Our long-term ambition is to develop 46 million metric tons of production and terminal capacity in Africa by 2015. We want to become a truly pan-African champion in the sector, capable of competing globally with the largest cement companies in the world," he said.
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