Ethiopia: National Cement SC plans to complete upgrades worth US$99.7m by the start of 2013 according to the company's chief executive, Busa Assefa.
"We will start clinker trial production in October 2012 and cement trial production in November 2012," said Busa. He added that the trial production phase at the compnay's new plant near Bajatu, Kebele, will begin at a 60% clinker and a 70% cement production rate, to become fully operational by the start of 2013.
National Cement SC was formed from a merger between Ethiopia's first cement plant, Dire Dawa, and the National Cement plant that is currently under construction. Dire Dawa has a capacity of 60,000t/yr with further upgrades scheduled. The new National Cement plant will have a capacity of up to 4500t/day. It is being built on a 40ha location in Bajatu, Kebele, within 3km of Dire Dawa.
National Cement SC's upgrades will increase Ethiopia's national capacity, from 18 operational plants, by 1.3Mt to 12.46Mt/yr. The company expects to rely on the eastern Ethiopian market and exports to Djibouti and Somalia. In addition, the city of Dire Dawa has licensed four cement factories with a combined capital of US$277m, of which three are under construction.