National Cement plans to increase production
National Cement, a subsidiary of Devki Group plans to grow its production by more than six-fold making it East Africa's largest producer. The firm has announced plans to invest an additional Sh13 billion to expand production capacity to 2.5 million metric tonnes per year, from the current 4,00,000 MT. With this increase in capacity National Cement would overtake Lafarge-owned Bamburi which controls about half the Kenyan market.. Amason Kingi, the acting Industrialisation minister, said that the ongoing construction boom in East Africa presents room for cement makers to grow. "There is an ever-rising demand for cement in the region as a result of the increase in construction in housing and infrastructure development," said the minister. Government statistics indicate cement consumption soared by 16 per cent in 2010 to 3.1 million tonnes, which meant a near-full capacity use by the five cement makers. National Cement is betting on pricing strategy to earn itself a bigger slice of the market, Mombasa Cement, Devki's Simba and Mombasa's Nyumba are the cheapest brands in the market, retailing at about Sh680, whereas the other brands are selling for at least Sh720.National Cement's Simba brand is the latest entrant into the Kenyan market, having debuted in 2011. Mombasa Cement, which has been in the market for two years, has started construction of a new Sh500 million grinding plant that will double its production capacity next year.