After being blocked by red tape for several months, the Indian group Sanghi hopes soon to be able to start construction of its Pokot cement factory in Kenya.
No progress has been made in the construction of the factory since Prime Minister Raila Odinga laid the foundation stone in an official ceremony about nine months ago. The block had been instigated by the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) which had called, for its part, for other investors, such as the Mehta Group, to build a second cement works in the region. Interventions by advisors to the Kenyan Prime Minister and to President Mwai Kibaki were finally needed to make the KVDA and the Rift Valley politicians supporting its action toe the line.
Since then, the Kenyan authorities have given the Sanghi group assurances that there will not be any competing cement works in the same region. This should enable the Indian company to begin building this cement works, costing an estimated KES12bn (about €100m) and with an eventual capacity of 1.2Mta of cement. Cemtech has already paid KES120m (€1m) to acquire the site for the cement works and a 99 year lease on a chalk mine to use for making cement. The Indian company will also have to build a 64MW power station, selling the bulk of its output (50 MW) to KPLC.