Firm enters into roofing materials market

Sinoma Roofing General Manager Wu Shuang, Governor Wavinya Ndeti, China Embassy official Zhu Li and CBMI General Manager Zhang Sicai in Athi River on June 18, 2024. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Sinoma Roofing Systems Company Limited, a subsidiary of China National Building Material Group Co Ltd. (CNBM), has launched operations in Kenya, introducing a new player to the roofing materials industry and sparking potential competition among existing manufacturers.

Speaking during the opening of the factory in Machakos County, Governor Wavinya Ndeti praised the company for choosing Machakos as its base.

“We have created a vibrant and friendly business ecosystem that allows investors to thrive. We remain an attractive destination for investment for both local and international investors,” Ndeti said.

Governor Ndeti also challenged the investors to study the climatic conditions of different regions and develop customised products to offer builders the right roofing solutions and value for money.

Sinoma Roofing Systems marks CNBM’s first investment in Kenya. CNBM has consistently ranked on the Fortune Global 500 list and is known for its comprehensive building materials and new materials development.

Wu Shuang, General Manager of Sinoma, said the venture aims to elevate manufacturing standards in Kenya, create job opportunities, and provide reliable, cost-effective roofing products across the East African Community.

“The company integrates the production and sales of roofing materials, industrial engineering services, and steel structure fabrications. It boasts Kenya’s largest coloured stone-coated roofing tiles and mabati manufacturing plant, along with a state-of-the-art product laboratory,” Shuang stated.

With an annual production capacity of 4 million pieces of colored stone-coated roofing tiles and 3 million meters of iron sheets, Sinoma aims to introduce high-quality and reliable products to Kenya, enhancing local manufacturing capabilities with advanced production technologies.

“Our goal is to foster a distinctive ‘Made in Kenya’ brand and promote sustainable development through local engagement and responsible manufacturing practices,” Shuang added.

Operating under the brand name UNI-ROOF, with a logo adopting Kenya’s flag colors, the company’s stone-coated roofing tiles offer high weather resistance and a lifespan of up to 60 years. The materials used are eco-friendly, with production processes designed to avoid pollution and waste emissions.

Sydney Amaiza, Sales and Marketing Manager, highlighted the advanced technology used in their roofing tiles, which includes a slight layer of magnesium coating to prevent rust, algae, and mold growth.

Zhang Sicai, General Manager of CBMI Construction Co Ltd, noted that Sinoma’s investment in roofing products symbolises the friendship between China and Kenya and their collaboration in economic, cultural, and educational sectors.

“As the economic engine of East Africa, Kenya is blessed with a favourable geographical location and rich natural resources. Our plant here represents a historical opportunity and a responsibility. We aim to inject new energy into local development by offering more jobs, better products at lower prices, and superior services,” Zhang stated.

 Zhu Li, Counselor of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Kenya, praised the launch, stating that Sinoma projects, along with other Chinese projects in Kenya, will support the Kenyan government’s initiatives to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in areas like poverty alleviation, zero hunger, decent work, and economic growth.

Amaiza mentioned that the company currently has about 70 distributors and aims to have over 500 by the end of the year, working with big hardware stores and other entities involved in the roofing and construction industry.