Kenya says Nigeria's Dangote to build $400 million cement plant

NAIROBI Sat Sep 7, 2013 4:14am EDT

Founder and Chief Executive of the Dangote Group Aliko Dangote gestures during an interview with Reuters in his office in Lagos, June 13, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Founder and Chief Executive of the Dangote Group Aliko Dangote gestures during an interview with Reuters in his office in Lagos, June 13, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye

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NAIROBI (Reuters) - Africa's richest man, Nigerian Aliko Dangote, plans to invest $400 million in a cement plant in Kenya, the east African nation's president's office said.

Dangote owns various businesses under the umbrella company of Dangote Group, among them, Dangote Cement (DANGCEM.LG), which said in May it was investing $5 billion to build cement plants on the African continent.

He was part of a business delegation that was visiting Kenya with Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan. The countries signed bilateral deals in sectors including tourism, agriculture and oil and gas.

"(President Uhuru Kenyatta) particularly cited the ... the decision by Nigerian tycoon Aliko Dangote to invest $400 million in a cement processing plant as an indicator that an "exciting journey has begun"," Kenyatta's office said in a statement late on Friday.

The statement did not give details on timelines, or the plant's capacity. There was no immediate comment from the company.

Dangote Cement, Africa's biggest, said earlier this year it would expand its pan-African production capacity to 55 million tons by 2016, without giving a comparable figure.

Other countries the cement company has previously said it planned to venture into include Cameroon, Ethiopia, Zambia, Tanzania, Senegal and South Africa.

Cement companies already operating in Kenya include Bamburi Cement (BAMB.NR), ARM Cement (ARM.NR) and East African Portland Cement (PORT.NR).

Kenya produced 412,529 tons of cement in July, up from 402,621 tons a month earlier, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. Cement consumption stood at 332,009 tons, from 341,942 tons a month earlier.

(Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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