- Firm says move could ease costs of finished products and make Kenya-made goods affordable in East Africa and competitive on the global stage.
- In 2016, Kenya’s six cement producers imported two million tonnes of clinker, a crucial raw material in cement production that was transported by road from the Mombasa port to the Athi River-based factories.
- They produce cement for onward transportation across East African markets by trucks and rail.
State-owned cement maker East African Portland Cement Company is pushing for putting up an inland container depot in Athi River to deliver imported raw materials to the manufacturing hub via the standard gauge railway (SGR).
Managing director Simon Peter ole Nkeri said the move could ease costs of finished products and make Kenya-made goods affordable in East Africa and competitive on the global stage.
Athi River hosts Bamburi, Mombasa, ARM, National, Savannah and lately Ndovu cement plants.
“We heavily rely on imported raw materials like clinker for the manufacture of cement. We are engaging the government on this issue and are optimistic an offloading and loading terminal will be built within an inland container depot in Athi River,” he said.
Mr Nkeri spoke during the opening ceremony of the Kenya Homes Expo, a construction industry exhibition that brings together housing developers as well as building material dealers and home accessories.
He said making cement affordable would also spur a drop in product prices, increasing local uptake. This would see increased production to meet demand which would have a positive ripple effect across the industry.