Tanzania Portland Cement (TPCC), part of the HeidelbergCement Group, said that it its production targets will not be deterred by the ongoing “illegal importation” of cement into the east African country.
The firm's managing director, Alfonso Rodriguez, said that the company will produce 1.5Mta this year, up from 1.4Mta in 2014. The increased capacity follows last year's commissioning of a new 0.8Mta mill.
"We managed to produce approximately 1.4Mt last year but that was not what we had anticipated as our business is being affected by illegal importations of cement through various routes. However, we are confident of producing 1.5Mt this year," Mr Rodriguez told reporters on the sidelines of the firm's 2015 Family Day celebrations.
Local cement manufacturers have expressed their concerns over what they deem as cheap imports from Asia, claiming that they are eating into their profits and creating an unfair playing ground. The government on its part has maintained that it allowed the importation of subsidised cement to cover the market gap created by high demand pushed by the growing construction industry.
TPCC is HeidelbergCement's flagship cement plant in east Africa. The company also recently modernised one of the older kilns and increased clinker capacity by 0.25Mta. The works now has a total cement capacity of 2.2Mta.