Tanzania: Minister invites cement industry to voice its concerns

Tanzania: Minister invites cement industry to voice its concerns
Published: 17 August 2016


Tanzanian cement producers who have been stepping up the pressure on the new government to respond to the amounts of cheap cement imports have been given some encouragement to present their complaints.

The minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Charles Mwijage, advised local cement producers to meet with the government to sort out constraints in doing businesses.

“Let's reason together so that we can build our case that I can defend to the government,” Mr Mwijage said at the inauguration of Tanga Cement second clinker manufacturing line at Pongwe area in Tanga region yesterday.

The management of the Tanga Cement Co had complained to the government about influx of cheap imported cement products in the market which was subjecting local cement producers to unfair competition and decision by the government to ban coal imports that was making the cement factory incur extra costs for thermal power to run their turbines.

"We ask the government to either stop the imports or at least impose higher tariffs on imported clinkers...We are pleading with the government to ensure clinkers on transit reach their destinations. This will remove unfair competition in the market," Tanga Cement’s managing director, Reinhardt Swart said.

He added that the government decision to ban coal imports had made them incur extra cost for using thermal power as the local one was not suitable for their second kiln that was inaugurated yesterday. He said they were also appealing to the government to increase efforts toward provision of reliable electricity.

The US$152m new clinker manufacturing line at Pongwe installed by a Chinese company is expected to boost clinker production capacity from 500,000t to 1.52Mta which will be used for cement production and excess to be exported.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Lawrence Masha, said as local producers they did not see the reason for allowing imports of cement while local production is above the market demand. According to him, local installed capacity was 8.3Mta of cement while demand was at around 4.3Mta.