Rwanda: rail and energy projects to boost cement demand

Rwanda: rail and energy projects to boost cement demand
Published: 23 May 2016


The Rwandan government’s announcement of two major infrastructure projects is set to be a boon for the country’s cement producers, the Mail and Guardian Africa reports.

The KivuWatt gas-water extraction project will take gas from Lake Kivu to generate 100MW of electricity by 2019, while the Dar es Salaam-Isaka-Kigali/Keza-Musongati (DIKKM) standard-gauge railway will link Rwanda with ports in neighbouring Tanzania.

Busi Legodi, CEO of PPC Rwanda, has welcomed the new initiatives, noting that transport and energy are two of the major cost factors in cement production. Ms Legodi told the Mail and Guardian:

“We’re a company that deals in heavy physical goods, and the hilly terrain in Rwanda makes transport expensive because maintenance costs are high”, adding “Gypsum is also an important component of cement manufacturing. Rwanda doesn’t have gypsum deposits so we have to import by road from Kenya and Tanzania”.

Ms Legodi also said that without a government subsidy on power at the Rusizi plant, “we wouldn’t be competitive”.

Cement prices in Rwanda and neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo range from US$225 to US$270, while consumption is about 34-45 kg per capita.