Karsan Ramji & Sons to construct new cement plant
Kitengela-based quarry operator Karsan Ramji & Sons is stepping up its investments in the cement business with the planned construction of a cement plant in Nakuru, the second such project in the past 12 months.
Karsan Ramji & Sons has sought regulatory approval to set up a 700t/day (224,000t/ yr) cement plant in Engashura, 7 km from Nakuru. The company recently completed construction of a similar-sized cement plant in Athi River and in June 2015 began selling cement under the brand name Ndovu.
“If we secure regulatory approvals in time, construction will begin in December 2015 and the plant will begin operating by November 2016,” said Kishor Varsani, Karsan Ramji & Sons’ MD. The plant will use imported clinker while pozzolana and gypsum will be sourced locally from its quarries.
Also in Kenya, Nigeria’s Dangote Cement plans to build a US$395m cement plant in Kitui, while India’s Sanghi Group plans to construct a US$119m cement plant in West Pokot.
Kenya’s 2014 cement production grew by 16.4% year-on-year to 5.88Mt, up from 5.05Mt in 2013 as a result of new players entering the industry. Cement production in the country has consistently outpaced consumption, which stood at 4.26Mt and 5.19Mt in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
“There is currently an oversupply of cement in the Kenyan market,” said Varsani. “Our decision to diversify our business into this sector is based on the beliefs that demand for cement will soon outpace supply with the expected growth of the economy and construction industry.”