VENTURES AFRICA – Dangote Cement’s 5.25million mt/pa Obajana Plant Line 3 is set to be commissioned by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan today as the country advances in the quest to halt importation of cement.
Reports indicate that the commissioning of the new line 3 would increase production capacity at the Obajana plant to 10.25 million mtpa and by 2015 when the fourth line would have been completed; the entire four lines would be having a combined production capacity of 13.25 million mtpa, which makes it the single biggest plant in the world.
Last February, during the commissioning of Dangote Cement’s 6 million mtpa Ibese plant, Founder and Chairman of Dangote Cement Alhaji Aliko Dangote said that the cement company was aiming to lead the way in the production of the commodity to meet home demand, as well as having excess for exportation.
Commenting on the development, Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote said the commissioning marks a milestone not only for the company, but also for Nigeria, pointing out that the Obajana project would make Dangote Cement the power house of cement in Africa. With the continuous expansion of the existing plants in the country and its operations across 14 other African countries, Dangote Cement is strategically positioned to remain one of the largest producers in Africa and world.
Dangote attributed the firm’s success story in local cement production to the Nigerian Government’s backward integration policy of encouraging local production in preference to importation. He added that the current increase in the capacities of other local cement manufacturers has ushered Nigeria into a new phase of industrialisation.
He also hinted on the company’s long-term plans, stating that the African cement giant was to produce about 60 mmtpa of cement by the year 2015, a development that will place the company among the top eight cement producing companies in the world.
President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to perform the ground breaking for the fourth line of the plant expected to generate additional 3 million mtpa.
On the potential of the Nigerian economy, Dangote expressed optimism stating that investment opportunities abound in various sectors such as power, agriculture and oil and gas. He challenged other investors to invest in Africa’s second largest economy and reap returns on their investments.
The commissioning, in Obajana, Kogi state in the central region of Nigeria, would be attended by high ranking officers in the Nigerian government, ministers, state governors, captains of industry, and other dignitaries.
On May 23, 2007 former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo commissioned the 5 million mtpa capacity Obajana lines I and 2 with a call on other entrepreneurs to emulate the Dangote group chairman in his quest to help stimulate the economy by focusing on manufacturing rather than importation.
Aliko Dangote is Africa richest man. His business interests spans across Africa and several sectors including cement, oil and gas, flour, sugar, textile etc.
Dangote Cement accounts for around a third of the capitalisation of the Nigerian stock market. Early this year, Dangote revealed plans to list his $11 billion cement company on the London stock exchange by the third quarter of 2013.