East African Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) will start making cement related products such as paving blocks and kerbs as it races to diversify in market that is in the throes of a price war and stiff competition.
The firm will be targeting Kenya’s vibrant construction sector in a move that will put it in a head to head battle with rival Bamburi Cement, which serves the same market with its subsidiary Bamburi Special Products Ltd.
This comes at a time when the sector is faced with stiff competition arising from excess capacity that has seen prices fall 20 per cent in the last 14 months as players move to defend and grow market shares.
As a result, it has become critical for cement firms to diversify their product range to protect and increase their margins.
“We will be introducing new products and business lines into the market in tandem with the changing customer and consumer needs, including but not limited to paving blocks, kerbs, and channels this year,” said Peter Korir, head of strategy at EAPCC.
The construction sector has witnessed substantial growth, supported by increased lending, to report a 14.6 per cent growth in the third quarter of last year compared to a growth of 2.4 per cent over the same period in 2009, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Standards third quarter report of 2010.