Dangote, Nigeria’s largest cement maker, expects to start building a US$400m plant in Zambia this month, Zambia’s commerce, trade and industry minister said on Monday.
"We are expecting a team of construction experts from Dangote to arrive in Zambia either today or tomorrow and the building of the plant should be launched this month," Felix Mutati told Reuters in an interview.
Mutati said the plant, one of Zambia’s largest investments outside mining, is expected to produce 1.5Mta of cement when it reaches full capacity by 2013.
"They are positioning themselves to capture the regional cement market, in particular Congo DR and we hope their presence will also help give Zambia the prominence that it craves for," he said.
Dangote’s new plant would also bring competition, which was expected to result in a higher quality of product and lower prices, Mutati said.
The project would create more than 1500 direct and indirect jobs during the construction and operational phases, he said.
Dangote plans to set up plants and import terminals in other countries, including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Senegal, to bring its production capacity across the continent up to 46Mta in five years’ time with 30Mt of it in Nigeria.