By Luke Anami
BOC Kenya will invest Sh80 million to upgrade production facilities as it seeks to increase its regional market share.
The firm is confident it will deepen its presence in the East African Community (EAC) market, following the signing of the common market treaty.
"This investment will increase production efficiencies, and enhance competitiveness of our products in the region," Managing Director, John Kariuki, said, during a media luncheon to commemorate 70 years of the company’s existence.
The investment will boost capacity to more than the current daily production of 17 tonnes. Kariuki said the company anticipates high market growth in east Africa.
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"We have seen increased demand in emerging markets such as Southern Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi in the past one year. Our focus is to satisfy the needs for these emerging markets even though production costs are still high," Kariuki said.
The company, which is a leading supplier of industrial and medical gases in Kenya, has branches and outlets covering the whole country. It also supplies gases to Tanzania and Uganda.
The company which, begun operations in Mombasa 70 years ago, is reviewing its investments options, including the production of carbon dioxide.
"We have traded for less than a month on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. The economy has not improved as expected due to a range of factors such failure of El Nino rains," he said.
Kariuki said trading on the NSE is low.
"It is also too early to gauge the performance of the company due to the slow growth of the economy."
Last month the company’s shares started trading at NSE after a four-month lull, a proposed merger with Carbacid which failed to sail through due disagreement among a section of shareholders.