Athi River calls for use of locally-manufactured product

Athi River calls for use of locally-manufactured product
Published: 01 July 2013


Athi River Mining Tanzania Ltd is seeking the government’s intervention to stop sub-standard imports entering the local market.

Concerns have been raised recently over the quality of imports into the East Africa region amidst claims that some manufacturers are using local agents that are unqualified leading to sub-standard products. Calls have been made for all cement imports to be subject to the same technical standards and regulations as local cement.

Rick Ashley, chairman of ARM Cement Ltd, which has cement activities in both Kenya and Tanzania, told local press that the company is lobbying the Tanzanian government to stop illegal cement imports and encourage contractors of infrastructure projects to use locally produced cement. He said importers need to comply with the Bureau of Standards requirements on quality of cement.

“Regional cement producers have started seeing duty free and VAT-exempted imported cement being sold in Kenya and Tanzania,” he said, adding that this cement had been earlier given duty free status by officials of the former government, for specific government contracts.

Imports of around 250,000t have been bridging the demand-supply gap, making Tanzania the region's largest net importer. However, imports in Tanzania are expected to drop from 10 to four per cent by 2014 due to increased capacity and a fall in production costs as power issues begin to be resolved and alternative fuel sources are increasingly explored.