November 16, 2011
Ahead the inauguration of a new cement plant - Lakatabu, in Ewekoro, Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria, has increased the supply of cement to the Nigerian market. Already, Ewekoro factory of the company has since inception of full production in September, achieved over 58,000 tons of clinker production, grinded over 37,000 tons of cement and also supplied 35,000 tons into the cement market.
With the addition of the new plant, the company will now be producing over 8 million metric tons per annum.
The new plant is part of the company’s plan to ensure that the Federal Government’s aim at making Nigeria self sufficient in cement production by 2013 is achieved.
Jean-Christophe Barbant, country manager, Lafarge, noted that the company don’t just build factories, but also add value to the community wherever it operates, saying “the new plant is part of our strategy to deliver the most effective cement in the Nigerian market.
“We operate in over 50 countries, delivering in 25 countries in Africa with 40 million tons capacity in Africa. Our strategy is the emerging markets, with Nigeria being the main focus where we have been able to achieve 8 million metric tons per annum, with the addition of the new Ewekoro plant. Others include Atlas Cement, Ashaka Cement and Unicem.”
Samy Abdelkader, the firm’s CEO, who was represented by Paul Rogers, technical director of the company, told BusinessDay while on a facility tour of the new Ewekoro plant, that within 45 days of this achievement, the plant recorded other milestones by producing the first cement on September 16, and later the first bag of cement on the 29 of the same month.
BusinessDay’s visit to the Ewekoro plant revealed that the operations of all the components - from the power plant to the kiln, the cement mills and the packing plants to loading and the dispatch of the loaded trucks - were all functional.
The Lafarge WAPCO has equally enhanced the availability of its products with the increase of sales depots nationwide to 12, and an e-collection process to ensure fast delivery of products.
With the world’s leading building materials research facility, Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities, working for sustainable construction and architectural creativity.
“Having commenced production from the Ewekoro plant 2 - code named Lakatabu - since September 16, 2011, Lafarge Wapco has successfully been adding about 12,000 tons of cement daily to the Nigeria cement market.
“Our kiln was lit up on July 22, and produced the first clinker in July 30, 2011, which coincided with the visit of minister for trade and investment, Olusegun Aganga,” the CEO stated.
The CEO is convinced that the company will achieve an appreciable stability in the cement sub-sector when more volume of cement is supplied to Nigerians. Availability will on the long run have a major impact on affordable price, which is of great concern to the company.
It would also be recalled that, in February 2011, the company flagged off its logistics project geared towards enhancing the delivery of products, with the commissioning of 70 new trucks. Over 1000 state-of-the-art trucks are expected at the end of the project.