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New cement factory promises 1,400 jobs

BUSINESS
By Kennedy Gachuhi | January 29th 2020

President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre), Devki CEO Narendra Raval (second right) and Mining CS John Munyes at the launch of the plant in Salgaa. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday commissioned a new cement factory in Salgaa, Nakuru County.

The Sh6 billion factory is expected to create at least 1,400 jobs.

The president lauded the National Cement Company, a subsidiary of Devki Group of Companies, noting the factory will go a long way in empowering Kenyans and supporting the manufacturing sector.

“Devki Group is a great partner in the realisation of Big Four agenda in manufacturing and housing sectors. It embodies the best entrepreneurial skills in the country that has opened employment opportunities for our people,” said President Kenyatta.

Uhuru expressed the government’s commitment towards supporting investors in the manufacturing, value addition and other sectors that contribute to industrialisation.

The president said the government will continue to expand roads and rail transport network and electrification to spur rapid development across the country.

“There is increased demand for cement, the government being a major client for its roads and building construction. Establishment of such factories upcountry has brought this vital commodity closer to the people, reducing the cost of transport and giving them proximity advantage,” said Uhuru.

According to Devki Group of Companies Chief Executive Officer Narendra Raval ‘Guru’, the factory will be a major boost for the economy because of the many job opportunities it has created.

“At the factory, we have engaged 400 people. An additional 1,000 jobs have been created for truck drivers who will be engaged in the supply of raw materials and distribution of cement across the East African region. Many others will be engaged indirectly,” said Mr Raval.

Raval said the factory has a capacity of producing 2,500 tonnes of cement per day and an average of 750,000 tonnes annually on one of its production lines that was completed in November, last year.

The company is also in the process of expanding its second production line, which will be ready by July, to increase the capacity to 1.5 million tonnes per year.

Raval said the company will source all its raw materials within the country to promote the growth of local industries and support the government in achieving the Big Four agenda.

“Major government and private infrastructural projects are being undertaken across the country. Nakuru is centrally located, making the factory accessible. We have also set our ex-factory prices at Sh530, relatively low compared to other brands in the Kenyan market,” said Raval.

He called on Kenyans to embrace Buy Kenyan, Build Kenyan in efforts to make Kenya an industrialised country.

Raval made a donation of Sh100 million to Kenyatta National Hospital, which is constructing a Sh300 million cancer wing.

While lauding the company for investing in Nakuru, Governor Lee Kinyanjui expressed his administration’s commitment towards supporting investments lined up with value addition and manufacturing.

“We earmarked Salgaa as an industrial area and are glad that over eight companies have set up factories in the past three years. The cement factory will be a major revenue earner and employer in the county,” said Kinyanjui.

Huge deposits

Salgaa has recently attracted local and multinational firms that have set up factories, including Royal Group of Companies which is setting up a Sh800 million steel factory adjacent to the cement factory.

Petroleum and Mining Cabinet Secretary John Munyes said the country has huge deposits of unexploited minerals.

“We have discovered deposits of clinker and gypsum in various parts of the country. There is demand for more cement factories and this is just the beginning. With these raw materials, we won’t need to import construction materials,” said Mr Munyes.

Rongai MP Raymond Moi lauded the government for tarmacking the Maili Kumi-Solai-Subukia road, which has opened up the area for development.

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