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Nigeria's Cement Output to Hit Over 35 Million Metric Tonnes Yearly
With the BUA Cement factory in Okpella, Northern Edo State, ready for commissioning in 2015, the overall local manufacturing output of cement in Nigeria is set to take a leap from the current figure of about 30 million metric tonnes per annum to over 35 million tonnes yearly.
BUA Group has completed plans to add about 5.3million metric tonnes of cement into the Nigerian cement market as its state-of-the-art cement plant will be completed in February 2015.
Executive Director, Projects and Technical, Mr. Yusuf Binji, explained that the investment, which had so far gulped about $500 million, will make Nigeria more self sufficient in cement production with good volumes available for the export market.
Binji, during a facility tour of the new factory, pointed out that the factory is one of its many cement projects being carried out to make the commodity available and affordable in the country.
He said: "Right now, this plant we are building is going to manufacture cement and it is one the many cement projects we are doing in Nigeria, the plant has 3 million metric tonnes capacity per annum. It is a modern plant with up to date facilities. It is technologically advanced and at the end of the construction period, which we started in 2012, the plant scheduled for completion and commission within the first quarter of 2015, will go into commercial production. The commissioning of the plant will commence at the end of February, then after about three months, the products will be available to the market."
He commended the federal government on the backward integration policy for cement, maintaining that the policy had sprung more investments into the cement industry shooting up the nation's installed capacity to about 30 million tonnes per annum.
"The backward integration policy was a very good concept by the federal government. About 10 years ago, Nigeria was producing about 2 to 3 million tonnes of cement, but currently, the installed capacity in Nigeria is about 30 million tonnes and because of the good policy by the federal government, the existing and new entrant cement companies have ventured and established cement plants increasing the capacity to 10 to 15 per cent every year leading to high expansion in growth," he added.
"In 2012, Nigeria was almost self sufficient in cement production and that is why you have seen the ban on importation of cement because we believe we have the capacity to satisfy all the market in Nigeria," he stressed. According to him, manufacturing is still plagued with so many challenges, pointing out that infrastructural deficit is still a major concern hindering the manufacturing sector of the economy.
He said the factory will run independently off the national grid at every point of its manufacturing processes, stressing that the Group has a 50 megawatt power plant to be commissioned by the end of December to power its operations. "The energy we are going to use both for the main production facility and also for the power plants that will call from our generators which we call the turbines and gas based. We are building a gas pipeline 30 kilometres from the point of where we get the gas to the factory. We are going to have a gas reduction station and the internal distribution of the gas pipeline into all the user department for the gas," he said.
"We are also going to use liquid fuels for both our turbines and also for our plants. We are going to see more tanks built for storage of liquid fuels that will be used as a backup fuel in case of disruption with the gas supply and this is ongoing. We want to ensure that the plant is not under any form of threat as a result of power outages when carrying out our operations so that daily, about 250 to 300 trailers of cement will leave our factories," he added.
BUA, he further noted, has equipped its facilities across Nigeria with batch enabling machines to ease proper identification and traceability, saying that this move by the company to be fully complaint to Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON's) regulations. He said the company had also embarked on its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report to ensure that the safety of the community while it carries out its production activities, stressing that the investment will provide about 1000 direct employments and thousands indirectly.
Posted on : 30 Nov,-0001