Burundi's new cement plant targets 35,000 tonne in 2011
Burundi's first cement plant in the north-west part of the country has started production and it aims to produce about 35,000 tonne in 2011, to meet one-third of the needs for the product, hitherto imported from abroad. Total cost needed to assemble and equip the plant, was $10 million with an installed capacity of 100,000 tonne per year, which could eventually meet 50 per cent of the national requirements for cement, said Aime Mananda, Director General, Burundi Company of Cement (BUCICO). More than 120,000 tonne of cement was imported into the country in 2010, according to the official statistics of Burundi's Ministry of Trade and Industry. "We will achieve this maximum production gradually and to begin with, 35,000 tonne are expected to leave our factory without any problem this year," Mananda said. According to him, a 50-kg bag of 'Made in Burundi' cement will be sold at about 19,000 Burundian francs (about $19), a difference of just over $1, compared with the same product imported. The price difference is not big because the bulk of the raw materials like clinker, pozzolan and gypsum are still being imported. Only the clay is available in large quantities on the plant site locations, according to Mananda. The Burundian industrial fabric has been considerably damaged by more than a decade of civil war and for long, a new factory had not been built in the country. "It is our way of boosting the morale of Burundian industrialists, who should not expect the total lack of insecurity to begin to reinvest in the country," the BUCICO Director General asserted.