A cement producer from India plans to transform the economy of Pokot Central District, once its new factory is completed, according to local press reports.
The Cemtech Sanghi Group has received full approval from the Government to build an US$80m (KES6.24bn) cement factory to mine the large limestone deposits in Sebit and Ortum areas of the district.
The Ortum factory will become the third largest in Kenya, after the Mombasa-based Bamburi and East African Portland Cement factory at Athi River. "We will have the capacity of producing enough cement for local consumption in Western Kenya and other parts of the country," said Mr Jaresh Rawal of Cemtech Limited.
The factory will have a capacity of 600,000 to 1Mta of cement.
Documents availed to The Standard show Cemtech Ltd planning to build a school and medical centre for the community living in the area, and provide them with free water. Rawal said construction of the factory would also improve the infrastructure in the area, as the road network would have to be upgraded. Discussions are underway on the possibility of upgrading the railway line from Marich Pass to Kabarnet and Nakuru.
The company also plans to build wind and solar power plants, to supplement its energy sources. Extra power generated will be available for use by the community.
Central Pokot District Commissioner Joseph Were told The Standard 5,000 families would benefit from the factory. Construction work for the main factory at Sebit will commence this month, and the plant could be operational by mid 2010. "The Government agreed terms with Cemtech Limited from India to construct the plant, because their proposal would benefit the local community," said Were.