German cement company to build plant in Cameroon
YAOUNDE Feb 18 (Reuters) - German firm G Power Cement will invest about $90 million to build an 800,000 tonnes a year plant in Cameroon, the third cement company to set up in the country in the last two years.
Privately-held G Power Cement will join Nigeria's Dangote group and Moroccan house-builder Addoha group in supplying Cameroon and the Central Africa region's booming construction sector.
"We intend to begin building the factory immediately after the foundation stone is laid some time next month," Chief Executive Bernd Stiehl told Reuters in Yaounde on Monday.
"Once construction starts, which will cost about 45 billion CFA francs ($91.59 million), it will take about 24 to 36 months to be completed," Stiehl said. "The company should start producing the first cement before the end of 2015 to be sold firstly in Cameroon."
Stiehl said the plant would eventually step up production to supply markets in neighbouring Central Africa Republic and Chad.
Dangote's $115 million plant is expected to provide 1.5 million tonnes of cement when it is completed by the end of the year, while Addoha will produce about 500,000 tonnes per year. Construction at both plants is ongoing.
Cameroon's only existing cement maker CIMENCAM, has an annual output of about 1 million tonnes from two plants, much less than demand, estimated 4 million tonnes a year.
Cement demand in the country is growing at about 8 percent per year, driven by infrastructure projects including a new deep sea port, dams and railways as well as a boom in domestic housing.
The cocoa and oil producing nation's economy is expected to grow by 4.7 percent in 2013 according to a Reuters poll, after hitting 5 percent in 2012, mostly boosted by construction and infrastructure projects.
($1 = 491.3350 CFA francs) (Reporting by Tansa Musa; Writing by Bate Felix. Editing by Jane Merriman)