The commencement of production in the Cameroonian commercial city of Douala came in the wake of the inauguration of another 1.5 million tonnes capacity per annum Senegal plant in Pout in January.
Dangote Cement had last year listed six plants across five African countries scheduled for completion this year.
Group president and chief executive of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said that the plants, which are at various stages of construction, will add about 13.5 million metric tonnes (mmt) of cement per annum to the existing capacity, when completed.
The ongoing plant projects, according to him, were Zambia, 1.5mmtpa; Tanzania, 1.5mmtpa; South-Africa 3mmtpa; Republic of Congo, 1.5mmtpa; Gabon 1.5mmtpa and Senegal 1.5mmtpa.
Back home, Dangote Cement increased its production capacity adding an additional third and fourth production lines to the existing 6mmtpa in Ibese, Ogun State, to bring the total capacity to 12mmtpa and another 3mmtpa line currently being added to the Obajana cement plant in Kogi State.
Dangote told a delegation from Organised Private Sector who visited him in the office that the 1.5 million tonnes per annum capacity plant in Cameroon commenced initial production at one million tonnes per annum before productions would be stepped up to maximum capacity level.
The Dangote Cement chairman explained that the Douala plant would revolutionise the cement industry in Cameroon and help stimulate the Eastern African economy as Dangote Cement would be churning out its known quality grade of 42.5 at a very competitive price.
He said the plant remains the most modern in Cameroon because of the latest technologies from Germany, USA, France used in the construction and put together by the renowned plant engineers, Sinoma.
Dangote, who stated that the company started by importing clinker, said that production was being carried out at the most environmentally friendly level, pointing out that the dust emission by the plant is lower than the 50mm international standard.
He further noted that Cameroonians were eager to see Dangote Cement commence operations at the Douala plant because of the feat the company had recorded in other countries, adding that the company was enjoying the cooperation of the host communities and the government of the country.
He promised that Dangote Cement, as a law abiding organization, would play by the rules of the land and that it would replicate its robust corporate social services in the host community.
On the economic benefit of the commencement of operation, Dangote stated that over 1,000 people would be employed directly by the plant while over 5,000 would benefit from the indirect employment to be generated by production activities of the plant.
Said he: “We have brought our latest technology to Cameroon to build the plant; we are a very environmentally friendly company. We are producing the 42.5 grade cement we are known for in Cameroon and at a very competitive price. The cement distributors, the consumers, were all eager to have our product and we will not disappoint them.
“They have been used to a particular product before, but we are offering them choices, quality choice at very reasonable price.”
He also disclosed that plans were afoot for the construction of a jetty by the plant which is just by the waterfront and close the Douala seaport. This, he explained, would make it easy to bring in raw materials and also help in the distribution of the product to other areas.
Dangote affirmed that the commencement cement production would stimulate the industrial subsector of Cameroon and expressed the hope of a mutual beneficial relationship with the government of the country.