Benin Cement output may fall 44% amid electricity shortages

Benin Cement output may fall 44% amid electricity shortages
Published: 27 April 2011

Cement output in Benin may fall 44 per cent this year as damaged machines and a lack of power hinders production, Trade Minister Christine Ouinsavi said.

Output of the building material may decline to 800,000t from 1.43Mt last year, she said in an interview with Reuters in the southern city of Cotonou. Benin’s government plans to boost cement imports from neighbouring countries to help meet local demand, she said, without providing further details.

Benin, which relies on cotton for most of its export income, is trying to boost economic growth by improving its infrastructure to attract foreign investment. The nation’s economy may grow 3.4 per cent this year, down from an earlier forecast of 4.4 per cent, after heavy rains caused flooding, Finance Minister Idriss Daouda said in a letter published on International Monetary Fund’s website on Feb. 25.
Societe des Ciments du Benin, the country’s second-largest producer, plans to repair damaged machines at its factory in an effort to boost output, director Benoit van Castler said, without commenting further. The company last year produced about 400,000t, he said.