By Blessing Agahozo
Milbridge Group, through its local firm Prime Cement Ltd, has invested Rwf63.6 billion to establish a plant for the production of cement that will be operational effective next month in Musanze District-based industrial park.
Fancesco De Martino, the Chief Executive Officer of Milbridge Group recently said that Rwanda’s political stability and good leadership were among other aspects that pushed the group to invest in country. “Rwanda is a stable country with a very stable political situation, the economy is growing very impressively and we were supported by local authorities such as the Governor, and even the President,” he noted
Information from the management of the new plant indicates that it will be having the production capacity of 600,000 tons per annum in the first phase which is expected to increase to 1.2 million tons during the second phase. The plant will be using volcanic rocks among its key raw materials so as to alleviate the gap in cement demand.
The new state-of-the-art plant will give a major boost to cement supply which will significantly bring about stability in cement availability and thus boosting export revenues. The development means that Rwanda will soon be producing enough cement to support infrastructure development and thus grow export revenues thanks to this new cement plant that sets to enter the market with a new cement brand made in Rwanda.
CIMERWA, the country’s sole cement marker also has the capacity to produce 600,000 tonnes per annum at its $170 million Rusizi plant while the country’s cement needs stand at 800,000 tons annually. Therefore, the combined production will greatly support Rwanda’s export sector and help ease cost of cement locally. For instance, the new cement plant comes with a promise to sell the cement at relatively lower price with a sac going at Rwf 9000 compared to Rwf 12,000 and above currently.
Encouraging the growth of industries that produce construction materials such as ceramics, steel and Iron, cement and a packaging materials plant, is one of the economic transformation pillar of the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) in its fourth priority meant to promote industrialization and attain a structural shift in the export base to High-value goods and services with the aim of growing exports by 17% annually.
Another cement player on the local market is likely to accelerate infrastructure development, including the current government commitment to construct over 22,000 classrooms countrywide by September 2020 and the construction of Bugesera Airport among other mega projects that the country puts forward.