By Yinka Kolawole
A new 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) Dangote Cement Plant built at a cost of $300million was commissioned in Mfila, in the Republic of the Congo yesterday.
The plant was commission by President Denis Sassou N’Guesso, with the Federal Government of Nigeria represented at the event by Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Solid Minerals, and Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment.
In his speech at the event, President of Dangote Group, Alh. Alike Dangote, said at the end of May 2017, total production capacity of Dangote Cement across Africa stood at 45.8 million MT per annum, adding that the company aims to be among the top ten producers of cement in the world by 2020. He noted that the new plant is the fifth commissioned by the company across Africa in the last two years.
He stated: “The Dangote Cement Plant that we are commissioning today, is the largest cement plant Congo-Brazzaville in terms of installed production capacity. With the commissioning of the plant, we become also the largest integrated cement producer in the CEMAC region comprising Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic (CAR), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and now, the Republic of the Congo.
“It is our hope that our plant will help to reduce and eventually replace cement imports into Congo-Brazzaville and these other countries. More importantly, it is also our hope that this project we are commissioning today, will further cement the existing cordial ties between our two countries—the Republic of the Congo and Nigeria.
“As we all know, cement is one of the basic inputs in infrastructure development. For Africa, a continent, which faces severe infrastructural deficits, the need for local self-sufficiency in cement production cannot be over-emphasised.”