In a bid to set up shop in new African markets, Nigeria’s Dangote Cement, sub Saharan Africa’s leading cement maker, is constructing a $500 million cement factory in southern Tanzania, it emerged on Tuesday.
The factory, which will start production in August this year, will have the capacity of producing 3 million tonnes of cement a year, thereby doubling Nigeria’s cement output a year to 6 million tonnes.
But Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man and owner of Dangote Cement, told Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, that the company is confronted by challenges of getting coal and natural gas to operate the plant.
Dangote made this assertion to Kikwete at a gathering in the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam, at the weekend.
Tanzania, which is East Africa’s second largest economy, has discovered huge natural gas reserves in its territories and has coal reserves of up to 5 billion tonnes, according to Reuters. However, the country has poor infrastructure, making the delivery of the energy to major factories difficult to achieve.
Last year, Dangote applied for a license to construct a 75 megawatt coal-fired plant in Tanzania, which will power the plant from electricity on the grid.
Dangote is poised to launch new plants throughout Africa to reach the capacity of 62 million tonnes a year in the next three years.