Business / Economy

Chinese firm signs $1.48b deal to build cement plants in Africa

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-08-27 09:30

LAGOS - A Chinese firm has signed a deal worth $1.487 billion with Nigeria-based cement giant Dangote Group to build cement plants in several African countries.

The plants will be built by China's Sinoma International Engineering Co Ltd in countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia, Senegal, Niger, Mali, Cameroon, Cote D'Ivore Ghana and Nepal.

They are expected to add 25 million metric tons to Dangote's existing capacity of almost 50 million tons of cement.

Owner of Dangote Group and Africa's richest man Aliko Dangote told reporters on Wednesday at the signing ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria that work on the plants would be completed within 30 months, with a ground breaking ceremony held in Cameroon on the same day.

Dangote said the move is "another progressive step" toward the company's plan to increase the total output of cement to 100 million tons by 2020.

"We have been partnering with Sinoma for a very long time and I can tell you that they are very reliable to handle this projects," he said, noting that the Chinese firm had built several plants in Nigeria and other countries for his company.

Dangote said the new plants would promote the growth of the host nations' economy through job creation, adding he was "committed to improving Africa's economy in a responsible and sustainable way."

"This plant would revolutionize the cement industry in each country, because a country like Niger depends solely on importation and they have all the needed materials to produced cement," he said.

The projects would include installation of equipment as well as mining, quarry and power facilities, according to Dangote.

Shen Jun, Chairman of Sinoma, on the occasion said the Chinese company had built more than 10 cement plants for Dangote Group since 2008 in several African countries.

He termed the cement plants and many other projects built by Chinese companies in Africa as part of the "prerequisites" for the continent's industrialization.

Sinoma has also engaged in activities benefiting local communities when carrying out these projects, he said, promising to "bring the best technology from China to these projects" and to produce for African countries skilled local workers.

The signing ceremony was also attended by diplomats from China, Zambia and Niger.

Dangote Group is the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa and one of the largest in Africa with businesses involving cement, sugar, flour, salt, pasta, beverages and real estate.

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