Local Players

The multinational cement companies are just part of Africa's cement story. Africa's leading producer, Dangote Cement, plans to bridge the gap between supply and demand in Africa in the next two years, with more than $3.9 billion in new cement lines in the works.

“The Group plans to construct a 3-million-tonnes-per-year plant in South Africa and one grinding plant in Cameroon with a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per year,” says Devakumar Edwin, the group's executive director of business development.

The Cameroonian project, which Edwin says will take up to 17 months to complete, will be the third plant in the West African nation. It currently has one cement company, CIMENCAM, with a capacity of one million tonnes per year from its two plants.

Dangote also is planning new cement plants in Nigeria, Tanzania, Senegal, Zambia, Congo, Ethiopia and Benin, with a combined capacity of 11.1 million tonnes per year.

In East Africa, Kenya cement producer Athi River Mining is expecting to complete two plants in Tanzania—one with a capacity of 0.75 million tones per year, the other 1.5 million tonnes per year—in the first quarter of 2012.

“This is part of our final push toward transforming our company into a regional giant,” says Mr. Pradeep Paunrana, the company's CEO.

Athi River is also pushing for the construction of a new plant in South Africa, with production targeted for 2013, Paunrana adds. The project is scheduled to begin after completing the Tanzania plant, in 2012.

Within Eastern Africa, Pakistan's largest cement manufacturer, Lucky Cement, will construct a $175-million cement plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo under a joint venture with East Africa-based Groupe Rawji. Construction work for the one-million-ton-capacity plant will commence in the first quarter of 2012, according to the company's finance director, Abid Muhammad Ganatra.