Hima Cement to invest US$40 million in new cement plant
Hima Cement, a subsidiary of the French conglomerate Lafarge, has announced it will invest $40 million in a new plant in the eastern Uganda district of Tororo. The company expects to produce one million metric tonnes of cement annually at the plant, raising its overall output to 1.8 million metric tonnes.
Hima Cement currently serves the western districts of Kasese and Kamwenge. It will be the second cement company to establish a base in Tororo, after Tororo Cement, which is also expanding its capacity to three million tonnes up from 1.9 million tonnes. CEO Daniel Pettersson said the expansion drive is aimed at meeting the increasing demand for cement and concrete in East Africa. Uganda is undertaking mega infrastructure projects such as the 183MW hydropower dams at Isimba and the 600MW dam in Karuma. Also in the pipeline is the 800MW Ayago hydropower dam, whose construction is expected to begin next year.
The oil and gas industry is also expected to boost the demand for cement as construction of a refinery, a pipeline and other upstream infrastructure begins. The East African Community has imposed 25% import duty on cement imported from outside the region to shield local industries. But industry players say there is a need for additional support such as higher duty rates and legislation that would see all government infrastructure projects buying local cement.