National Cement (Kenya), has announced plans to set up a KES10bn clinker plant at Kajiado, Lukenya, to supply its recently commissioned grinding plant. The factory, which will be financed by a Kenyan Central Bank and Standard Chartered syndicated loan, will allow the company to lower production costs by substituting imported clinker with domestic supply.
National Cement has invited the public to comment on the proposed limestone mining site at Merruishi, a statutory requirement before actual mining activity is approved by the environmental watchdog, NEMA.
The company also plans to increase cement production to 0.4Mta in parallel with the clinker project.
Narendra Raval, managing director at National Cement, explained: "We expect that the clinker plant within the Merruishi mines will be in operation by the end of next year but the finished clinker will be used in the cement factory in Athi River."
The Environmental Impact Assessment report on the proposed mineral exploitation puts the limestone estimates at about 300 million metric tonne and can sustain a large clinker production plant (with a daily production capacity of up to 7000 metric tons) for over 100 years.
So far, the firm has been importing about 35,000 tonnes per month since the cement grinding plant was commissioned early this year at $70 per ton (about Sh6,800), translating into Sh2.8 billion per year.