Lafarge Zambia to begin work on Lusaka plant
Lafarge Zambia Plc will begin work on a €200-million ($219 million) cement plant this year even as Aliko Dangote starts up his own factory in the country and economic growth slows.
Construction on the expansion in Lusaka will start mid to late 2015 and be complete in 2018, Emmanuel Rigaux, CEO of the Lafarge SA unit has said. The work will double Lafarge’s plant in the city, adding 1 million metric tons of capacity.
Dangote Cement Plc was due to start production at its $400 million Zambia facility last month, challenging Lafarge’s dominance for the first time since it was founded in 1949 to supply cement for Kariba.
The Dangote plant will produce 1.5 million tons a year, more than Lafarge’s two existing factories combined. Even so, the expansions won’t cause a glut, mainly because of demand from the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, Rigaux said.
“The growth there is massive, in fact it’s even higher than in Zambia,” he said. The DRC “has one of the lowest cement consumption per capita and one of the highest growth rates in the world,” he said. “It’s a perfect combination.”