Prime Cement seeks to challenge Cimerwa’s monopoly in Rwanda

The company plans to construct a $65 million cement plant in Musanze District, Northern Province of the country in a move that is likely to challenge the monopoly of Rwanda’s only cement maker Cimerwa.

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Prime Cement seeks to challenge Cimerwa’s monopoly in Rwanda
Cimerwa plant in Rwanda (Photo New Times)

Cement industry in Rwanda is set for stiff competition following the looming entry of another local player, Prime Cement.

The company plans to construct a $65 million cement plant in Musanze District, Northern Province of the country in a move that is likely to challenge the monopoly of Rwanda’s only cement maker Cimerwa.

Prime Cement  has signed a deal with Denmark’s FLSmidth to build a US$65m cement grinding plant in Musanze District in the Northern Province of Rwanda.

General manager of Milbridge Holding Gisele Bayigamba, told the media that that construction of the unit will start in the third quarter of 2018.  Milbridge Holding  is a consortium that owns Prime Cement.

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“The plant will have a cement production capacity of 0.7Mt/yr once operational. The project is also expected to create over 1500 jobs,” he said.
A proposed second phase to the project will add an integrated clinker plant within the next five years.

Dominant cement maker Cimerwa has the capacity to produce 600,000 tonnes per year at its $170 million plant, while the country’s cement needs stand at 450,000 tonnes annually.

Experts say the entry of Prime Cement will help boost Rwanda’s exports and ease cost of the construction commodity thereby boosting the growing construction industry in the country.

Prime cement will use cutting-edge technologies

Prime Cement promises that the plant would deploy the latest cutting-edge technologies in production to help reduce greenhouse gas emission.

The deal between Prime Cement and FLSmidth  will see the former order a OK(TM) 27-4 vertical mill for cement grinding, filters, a control system and plant automation, a packing plant and weighing and metering systems.

FLSmidth will also supply equipment from other FLSmidth brands, such as a planetary mill gear unit from FLSmidth MAAG Gear, filters from FLSmidth Airtech, a control system and plant automation from FLSmidth Automation, a packing plant from FLSmidth Ventomatic and weighing and metering systems from FLSmidth Pfister.

It remains to be seen how the entrance of Prime Cement in the Rwandan market will affect Cimerwa. In 2016, Pretoria Portland Cement which is a subsidiary of Cimerwa announced that production in Rwanda had helped cushion its revenues at a time when it was facing cutthroat competition in South Africa.