Simba Cement, part of businessman Narendra Raval’s business domain, is poised to inaugurate its West Pokot facility later this month, injecting an additional 2.5 million tonnes of clinker, a crucial raw material in cement production, into the nation.

Immediate commencement of production is on the horizon, intensifying competition within the cement sector and placing additional constraints on the industry’s pricing flexibility.

According to Mr Raval, the completion of the plant is imminent, with an official opening slated for March 22, presided over by His Excellency President Ruto, as revealed to Business Day Africa.

Upon commissioning, Mr Raval will ascend as the leading clinker producer in East Africa, boasting a cumulative output of 7.5 million tonnes from his trio of factories, augmenting his cement operations under the aegis of National Cement Company Limited.

The West Pokot facility is set to become Kenya’s second-largest, trailing only the Emali plant, presently churning out 3.5 million tonnes of clinker annually.

Mr Raval envisions exporting surplus clinker to fellow East African nations grappling with import dependencies to meet their cement manufacturing needs.

Initially scheduled for inauguration in August of the previous year, the opening date was postponed due to a delay in Kenya Power’s provision of electricity to the facility.

Simba Cement had previously disclosed its intent to forge long-term contracts for annual clinker exports valued at up to $192 million to neighbouring countries, with a pronounced focus on markets in Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi, capitalising on the proximity of the new plant to these nations.

gandae@businessdayafrica.org