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Buiding of W Pokot cement plant set to start in January

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A construction site
A construction site. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Building of the long-delayed Sh11.9 billion cement factory in West Pokot County is set to begin in January.

Cemtech Limited managing director Rajesh Rawal said Chinese contractor CITIC Construction will take between 18 and 24 months to set up the plant with an annual capacity of one million tonnes or 20 million bags.

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The firm targets the Kenyan market and will use its proximity to Uganda and South Sudan to serve the two neighbouring countries. It will also up competition in the local cement market where the entry of new players like Mombasa Cement, National Cement and Savannah Cement have kept prices unchanged over the past decade.

“We start construction in January now that we have been granted all the required 65 licences and consents,” said Mr Rawal.

“We are deploying a plant that will make cement at the least possible cost and allows us to price our product competitively.” This signals a fresh price war in a market that has also interested Nigeria tycoon Aliko Dangote.

New entrants have cut the market shares of Bamburi, East African Portland and Athi River, which was recently placed under administration.

Cemtech Limited acquired 650 acres of land a decade ago and residents have been waiting with anticipation for the building of the plant that is expected to create jobs for locals. On Friday, the Mining ministry accepted its application to mine limestone — a key raw material for cement manufacture—in an area spanning 234 square kilometers.

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