By Ronald Owili
Construction boom driven by the mega projects in the country is breathing a new lease of life to local cement manufactures who have become the main suppliers as contractors seek to adhere to the 40 percent local content threshold.
Savannah Cement, which is the main supplier for the Outer Ring Road project is reporting improvement in operation as demand rises.
The firm’s Chief Executive Officer Ronald Ndegwa says the firm is now eying regional markets with its production capacity set to increase to 2.4 million tonnes from the current 1.2 million tonnes annually.
Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicate that cement production increased 8% from 5.9 million tonnes in 2014 to 6.4 million tonnes between 2014 and 2015.
Consumption also rose by half a million tons from 5.7 million tonnes to 5.2 tonnes during the same period backed by the surging demand in the construction side.
Major infrastructure projects the country is undertaking is driving cement uptake locally which has reduced the amount Kenya exports, while increasing imports.
Ndegwa says supply of cement to Sinohydro Corporation which is constructing the ksh 8.5 billion OuterRing Road is pushing the firm to expand capacity.
Earlier the company announced it is investing in a new grinding plant in Kitengela to boost capacity to 2.4 million tons from the current 1.2 million tonnes annually.
With increased capacity the firm is now eyeing the regional market. According to Ndegwa, the new plant will be ready by the first quarter of 2017.