Kenya's sixth cement manufacturing company, Savannah Cement, is set to start production in the second quarter of this year, its chairman, Benson Ndeta, announced Wednesday.

The cement plant, which cost a consortium of Chinese and local investors Ksh8- billion,

is set to compete with established companies such as Bamburi, East African Portland Cement, Athi River Mining, National Cement and Mombasa Cement.

Savannah Cement's plant in Athi River will use state of the art machines that include an ultra-modern equipment, which is able to cut power consumption between 20-30%.

Kenya has a capacity of 3.5 million tons against demand of 3 million per year. Most of the local companies also export their cement to Somalia, South Sudan and Tanzania.

Bamburi Cement is currently the leading producer in East Africa, with an annual capacity of 2.5 million tons for export and local consumption.

Ndeta said his firm is keen on satisfying supply shortfalls, and would sell 30% of the output in countries outside East Africa. The demand for cement is projected to overtake the installed supply within the next two years.

Savannah Cement plans to invest an additional Ksh 15-billion (U$150m) in a clinker plant.

Source : tradeinvestkenya.com