Ibese cement plant’s daily production hits 16,000MMT
Two months after its inauguration, Dangote Cement Plc’s Ibese Plant in Ogun State has hit its expected daily production capacity of 16,000 metric tonnes.
The development, which has further boosted the hope of an end to cement importation in Nigeria, was described by the company as being in line with the six million metric tonnes production output capacity for new plant, which was declared open on February 9, 2012 by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Group Chief Executive, Dangote Cement, Mr. Daijeet Ghai, said on Wednesday that the group alone was prepared to exceed the 22 million metric-tonne annual national cement demand in the country before the August target set by the Federal Government for the ban of cement importation into the country.
The Ibese plant commenced with a daily production of 12,000 metric tonnes in February, but barely two months after, Ghai said production had moved up to 16,000MMT, its full installed capacity, which would lead to the achievement of the yearly target of six million metric tonnes of cement.
The Ibese plant currently ranks as the largest cement plant in sub-Saharan Africa.
The plant consists of two production lines of three million metric tonnes per annum each, and currently provides jobs for about 7,000 Nigerians.
The Dangote Cement boss said the feat recorded by the plant was a remarkable achievement, considering the fact that it only came into operation in February and had been producing at full capacity since then.
“Ordinarily, it is expected that a new plant cannot begin to produce at optimal capacity in two months. Production activity, especially for a new plant, takes time before it begins to produce optimally,” he said.
Ghai explained that a number of factors were responsible for the remarkable achievement within a short time, including the independent gas turbine power plant for the plant, which made it not to be dependent on public electricity supply.
It will be recalled that the President and Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group, Mr. Aliko Dangote, had said during the inauguration of the plant that all the group’s cement plants in Nigeria had a combined capacity of 20MMT annually, surpassing the estimated national yearly demand of 18MMT.
Ghai stressed that the aggressive expansion activities of the group’s local production plants were meant to ensure that there would always be adequate capacity to meet local demand and diversify into the export market.
The achievement, according to him, is the fruit of the Federal Government’s 2002 backward integration policy for the cement sector, which was designed to transform Nigeria from net exporter to a self-sufficient nation and subsequent exporter of the commodity.
In addition, he said, the Ibese plant would substantially boost the supply of cement in the Nigerian market, while increased supply from it would help stabilise supply and ultimately bring down the market price of cement.
Publication date is 4/13/2012
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