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ARM gears up for expansion drive

By | July 6th 2010

By Macharia Kamau

Athi River Mining has set aside Sh12.5 billion for its expansion programme.

The firm plans to put up a cement production unit in Tanzania, and increasing capacity of its plants in Athi River and Kaloleni.

Bipin Bhatia, the senior general manager, said the new developments would help the cement manufacturer reap from a continued boom in the building and construction in the region, as well as prepare for an expected increase in competition.

Competition in the cement sector is expected to increase with the entrant of two new players. Local Stell maker Devki Steel recently announced plan to set up a plant in Athi River, while Indian firm Cemtech Ltd will set base in Pokot.

Bhatia said the upping capacity of Kenyan facilities would more than double the firm’s cement production capacity, enabling it compete effectively. He also reckons that the Tanzanian unit help position the firm in the region.

Inaugural awards

He spoke when he presented an Sh400,000 cheque to the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) for the sponsorship of the inaugural Construction Industry Awards of Excellence to be held July 30.

Haron Nyakundi, chairman of the Quantity Surveyors Chapter of AAK, said the awards are expected to play part in a campaign AAK has been carrying that is aimed at weeding out quacks from the sector.

"We are rewarding excellence in expertise and trade, and encouraging innovativeness among professionals in the industry," he said.

"We have been fighting quacks in the industry and we think that it is also good to recognise those who have excelled."

The industry has in the recent past suffered credibility issues following collapse of several buildings around Nairobi while under construction.

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