Dangote Industries says the US$400 million cement plant in Masaiti district on the Copperbelt will be commissioned by the end this month.
Dangote Industries Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Aliko Dangote said in an interview on departure at Ndola’s Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport today that the commissioning of the cement plant has been delayed due to flooding.
Mr. Dangote said that there was flooding in the plant coupled with the delay in getting a permit from the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) which led to starting late.
“Hopefully, we will start production in the next two to three weeks or so and I think we are overcoming that.But the rainy season this year has been very intense which has given us a lesson to protect ourselves next time we are in operations. So by and large, we are pushing and the team will try and deliver the factory by the end of this month, our power is already on so we are making good progress,” Mr. Dangote said.
He said there has been good progress made on another cement plant to be constructed in Chilanga.He added that permission had already been granted to get into the land and start mining and that most likely the same contractor (SINOMA) might move to build an identical plant with the one in Masaiti.
He stated that the difference between Dangote investment and others was that theirs were fresh dollars coming into the economy of the country.
“We took the risk of bringing our foreign exchange which even now when you look at it, if we had borrowed Kwacha it would have been cheaper for us now. We will end up investing about US$900 million in the Zambian economy, but its worth it because we are all Africans,” Mr. Dangote said.