India’s Sanghi Cement is to build a plant in Kenya in collaboration with local firm Cemtech with a view to supplying the south Sudan market, a government official said on Thursday.
Kenyan and Ugandan firms supply most consumer goods and financial services to neighbouring south Sudan. They have been positioning for expansion if the region that is emerging from decades of war cedes from the north at a referendum in 2011.
"We need to take advantage of the market in southern Sudan and we need the foreign exchange. Uganda is also quite near," said John Lonyangapuo, permanent secretary at Kenya’s Industrialisation Ministry.
Construction of the plant is due to start in February and it will have an initial annual capacity of 600,000t, chiefly for south Sudan, east Africa’s least tapped market.
Sanghi Cement is part of Bombay-listed Sanghi Industries Ltd.