Dangote Cement will officially open its 1.5million metric tonnes per annum capacity Cement Plant in Congo on Thursday. Constructed at a conservative cost of $500 million, the plant is expected to directly employ more than 1000 people as thousands of indirect jobs will also be created.
The plant which is now the largest in Congo rolled out its first bag of cement on the 7th of August, 2017. Currently in 17 African countries, the Congo Plant commissioning will bring the total of Dangote Cement fully operational plants to 10 across Africa. The company’s third quarter unaudited results showed that the Congo plant which recently began operations has almost doubled the size of the cement sector in the country.
In the overall, Dangote Cement maintained its strong hold in the domestic cement market accounting for 65 per cent of the Nigerian cement market, while Pan-African volumes went up by 7.5 per cent to 7.0 mta. Analysis of the results indicated that the company recorded strong volumes in Senegal, Ethiopia and Cameroon. In the nine months under review, the 1.5 mta clinker grinding facility in Douala Cameroon sold approximately 938 kt of cement, indicating an increase of 16.4 per cent on the 806 kt sold the same period in 2016.
The company attributes the increase in sales to a number of factors ranging from strong brand recognition, increased point of sales branding, improvements in sales and marketing strategies to higher visibility through trade shows. Dangote Cement Ethiopia increased sales by 16.8 per cent to nearly 1.7 mta in the first nine months of 2017 representing capacity utilization of approximately 88 percent.
The cement plant in Pout Senegal sold 1.0mta of cement in the period under review, up by 21.7 percent on the comparable period of 2016. This represents almost 89 percent capacity utilization at the factory.
A statement by the company stated that, “Our Pan-African operations are performing strongly with excellent sales growth in Cameroon, Ethiopia and Senegal. We are consolidating our success across Africa and have just commissioned our 1.5Mta factory in Congo, the tenth country in which we have established operations.
The statement said,”In our key operations in Nigeria, we have significantly improved our fuel mix; and this has helped increase margins across the Group. It is especially good for Nigeria because most of the coal we are using is mined in our own country.” It would be recalled that top rating agencies, Moody’s Investors Service(Moody’) and Global Credit Ratings recently scored Dangote Cement high marks in their recent published ratings assigning a stable outlook to the foremost cement conglomerate.
Speaking on the rating, Douglas Rowlings, Vice President and lead analyst for Dangote Cement Plc at Moody’s said, “Dangote Cement Plc’s Ba3 corporate family rating, one-notch above the Government of Nigeria’s rating, reflects the company’s strong standalone credit profile and track record of demonstrated financial support from a larger and more diversified parent, Dangote Industries Limited.
” He added that the ratings factor in the diversification of the company’s revenue streams as DCP’s new cement production plants are commissioned in Africa with Pan-African volumes expected to reach 40 percent of total sales volumes by 2020.