CIMERWA earmarks Rwf655m for resettlement ahead of new plant

In a move to construct a new cement plant, Rwf655 million has been allocated for  the expropriation of about 284 families in Muganza sector, Rusizi district in Western Province.
Bags of portland cement in a Kigali warehouse. Rwanda has been depending on imported cement to satisfy demand. (File Photo)
Bags of portland cement in a Kigali warehouse. Rwanda has been depending on imported cement to satisfy demand. (File Photo)

In a move to construct a new cement plant, Rwf655 million has been allocated for  the expropriation of about 284 families in Muganza sector, Rusizi district in Western Province.

The money will be given out by CIMERWA, Rwanda’s only cement factory, to families and to be resettled by local leaders according to officials. About Rwf300,000 was paid to the sector for each family.

This was revealed by Jean Claude Barihuta the Director General of CIMERWA during a public consultation meeting held at Hotel Laico-Umubano yesterday.

CIMERWA intends to construct a new cement plant with a capacity to produce at least 600,000 tonnes per year. This means that the new plant would produce six times more cement than the old plant which produces 100,000 tonnes per year.

The factory plans to use 80 percent of energy for its machinery from peat (also used in burning bricks) as an alternative source of energy replacing diesel that experts say will reduce the total expenditures of the factory on energy to the tune of 70 percent. Geologists claim that Rwanda has about 200million peat tonnes.

Rwanda has been importing over 500 tonnes of cement bags per year, most of it coming from Uganda, Kenya, China and Ukraine.

With the construction of the new plant the company would be able to serve both the domestic and the regional markets especially Burundi and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

According to Barihuta, studies are being finalized and tremendous steps have been taken, though it may take sometime to commence its operations.

Officials said that a contract with the supplier of the equipments has been signed and an advanced payment of $10.2 million was given out.

In same public hearing meeting, that attracted a number of stakeholders, an ‘Environmental Impact Assessment’ was presented.

According to the assessment the establishment of the plant have been proved to be a viable project but waiting the approval of the Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA).

The plant will be a dry process technology compared to wet process used currently where raw materials are mixed with water and boiled to get a clinker.

The process was considered long and outdated. Dry process is said to be more environmental friendly and it’s the current cement production technology.

CIMERWA is the only local cement manufacturer owned by a group of local investors, Rwanda Investment Group (RIG) holding 90 percent shares. The 10 percent is owned by the government.

The company is however challenged by the high demand for cement in the country.

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