Rwanda’s sole cement maker, Cimerwa, could soon lose its monopoly following the impending entry of another local player, Prime Cement, that plans to construct a $65 million (about Rwf54 billion) cement plant in Musanze District, Northern Province.
The firm and FLSmidth Company, a Danish manufacturer and supplier of cement equipment, yesterday, signed a multimillion dollar equipment supply deal to kick-start the project that could more than double Rwanda’s cement production.
Gisele Bayigamba, the general manager Milbridge Holding, a consortium that owns Prime Cement, said operations will begin in the third quarter of 2018. Once completed, the plant will have production capacity of 700,000 tonnes of cement per year, according to Bayigamba.
Cimerwa has the capacity to produce 600,000 tonnes per annum at its $170 million (about Rwf126.7 billion) Rusizi plant, while the country’s cement needs stand at 450,000 tonnes annually. Therefore, the combined production will greatly support Rwanda’s export sector and help ease cost of cement locally.
Bayigamba said the plant would deploy the latest cutting-edge technologies in production to help reduce greenhouse gas emission.
During phase one of the project, a $65 million grinding unit will be put up, while the second phase will involve setting up of a fully integrated plant over a period of five years, she added.
Speaking at the event, Infrastructure Minister James Musoni said when implemented, the project will boost the country’s growing construction industry.
“The construction industry is expanding at a high speed and so the demand of construction materials has followed a similar trend. Therefore, this investment is a timely shot that will address this challenge,” he told The New Times.
He added that the investment would also contribute to Rwanda’s development goals as per the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy targets.
Job creation and export promotion
The project is expected to create over 1,500 new jobs and boost the country’s forex inflows through cement export. This opportunity will also equip local workers with skills that will ensure sustainable incomes at household level.
Anders Bech, the FLSmidth cement division president, said the new plant will make Rwanda more competitive in the region. It also puts Rwanda in a better position to promote locally-made construction materials, he added.
About Prime Cement
This a privately owned company that is part of the Milbridge holding a group of companies involved in the manufacturing and construction materials trade in Angola, the United Arab Emirates, Rwanda and South Africa.