Rwamagana plant opens to address shortage of construction materials

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Machinery used by the plant to produce different types of construction materials. / John Mbaraga

A new plant producing diverse types of construction materials was yesterday inaugurated in Gahengeri Sector of Rwamagana District and is expected to lower costs on construction materials procured from distant areas.

NISSI Machinery and Construction Company will supply aggregates and sand, manufacture heavy duty packers, road kerbs, blocks and ventilators, and do construction and maintenance of buildings and roads.

The plant is owned by several shareholders, with the Business Development Fund (BDF) being the majority shareholder with 50 per cent of equity stake.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Radjab Mbonyumuvunyi, the Rwamagana mayor, thanked stakeholders for investing in the business, saying it will impact owners, the community and country at large.

“Initially, people, especially those who needed to construct storey buildings, used to order construction materials from Bugesera District. Later, we got one plant in Mwulire Sector, but it was unable to satisfy the market demand,” he said.

“There is a big market for construction materials in Rwamagana, so this plant comes as a response to big construction projects,” he added.

Mbonyumuvunyi reminded the proprietors to pay attention to employee safety at work and implement environmentally-friendly technology.

He promised the district’s continued partnership in running the company.

Alexis Tindimwebwa, one of the shareholders, said the plant is capable of producing between 400-500 tonnes daily.

He said the plant would produce sand, stone base, small aggregates and large aggregates from stones.

“These are quality products from stones, for example the quality of the sand produced from stones is totally different from that excavated,” he said.

Tindimwebwa said their motivation was to bring low cost services close to the population.

He said they target to employ more than 100 permanent workers beside outside individuals who will supply different stuff to the plant with the majority being local residents.

In a move to contribute to the welfare of the surrounding community, Tindimwebwa said they partnered with local authorities and paid health insurance for several residents.

“In the process of installing electric power at the plant, we also made it easy for residents to get access to the tapping point and they immediately started a saving group to pay for connectivity,” he said.

Diana Kareba, the investment and portfolio manager at BDF, said the plant founders approached them in 2014 for financing, a process which took over a year of assessment before they decided to invest in the business.

“Our assessment revealed that these activities are impactful to the community by providing employment leading to the community’s development, which is why BDF directly invested in it,” she said.

The plant’s startup capital stands at about Rwf400 million.

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