Rwanda has been a cement importer, but a new cement plant will allow the country to produce six times more than it did in the past with enough left to export 30 percent of the total production — about 200,000 tons per year — according to a report in EastAfricanBusinessWeek.
CIMERWA is the only cement company in Rwanda that mines the raw material, produces the clinker concentrate, and packs and sells cement for general and civil construction, according to its website.
The company spent $170 million on a new modern dry process production plant with a capacity to turn out 600,000 tons of cement per year.
This is a six-fold increase from the older plant’s total production that was capped at 100,000 tons per year, according to the CIMERWA website.
CIMERWA is 51-percent owned by South Africa-based Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC Ltd), Southern Africa’s largest cement producer. PPC has eight manufacturing facilities and three milling depots in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe, and is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
The new Rwandan plant will boost cement export revenues to over $85 million per year, according to EastAfricanBusinessWeek.
“The new plant will allow Rwanda have enough cement, exporting some to its neighbors like DRC and Burundi and also will help create employment opportunities for Rwandans,” said Rwandan Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi.
Murekezi spoke at the unveiling of the new plant in Bugarama, a town in Western Rwanda.
During the two years of CIMERWA’s expansion, the company created jobs for 600 people including 400 Rwandans and 200 Chinese, EastAfricanBusinessWeek reports.
The new Rwandan facility “has been designed to achieve the most technologically efficient operation producing high-grade cement that will meet Rwanda’s growing demand,” said PPC Chairman Bheki Lindinkosi Sibiya.