Kenya: Cement firm granted final licence

Kenya: Cement firm granted final licence
Published: 20 November 2009

Cemtech-Sanghi group on Thursday announced it had received the final operating licence for its proposed KES6bn (US$80m) cement plant in Pokot.The firm said Kenya Investment Authority managing director Susan Kikwai, issued the permit on October 30 in Nairobi.

The investment certificate number 0280 came as the group finalised with Pokot leaders, community, landowners and their lawyers, the acquisition of 650 acres of land at a cost of KES100m.

“We will construct our ultra-modern, environmentally-friendly cement plant comprising of the latest state-of-art technology, school, medical centre, training centre, other amenities and facilities on the land,” project director Rajesh Rawal said in a statement.

The firm intends to produce up to 1.2Mta of cement. Production is set to commence by December 2011, with phase one putting out 600,000t. The second phase with up to 1.2Mt capacity will be completed by December 2014.

Cemtech-Sanghi group, a consortium of Indian cement giant Sanghi and local investors, was granted 99 years of exclusive mining rights on all limestone deposits by the County Council of Pokot.

This covers Ortum, Sebit/Sebit Proper, Sebit/Chepchoi, Sebit River, Tamkal, Kamatera, Lang-Lang River, Alale amongst other areas.

Pokot fields have generated some controversy after Kerio Valley Development Authority advertised for investors in the same area, eliciting sharp denunciation from the Industrialisation ministry and the Pokot community.

The Department of Mines and Geology, ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources has already approved the operation, a move crucial in securing the US$80m investment.

Initially, Sanghi-Cemtech submitted the December 2007 business plan that was approved but which later revised the implementation plan to cover the period November 2009 to December 2014. All operating licences have been granted by various agencies from early last year.

The investors want to install 15 to 22.5MW of captive power plant on the 650 acres for own use and that of the local community.

Sanghi, whose local subsidiary is Cemtech, owns the world’s largest single-stream cement plant producing 20Mta of cement.

The investors have in the past owned and managed Hima cement factory in Uganda between 1994.