The Devki group of companies has kicked off construction of a major steel plant in Kenya’s Kwale County a move that chairman Narendra Raval says is expected to create employment for 1500 people.
The Ksh 50 billion steel plant is expected to produce half-a-million tonnes of steel annually once it is operational signalling an end to steel import bill estimated at Sh80 billion per year.
The steel mill will be built over a period of three years.
“The plant will boost Kenya’s steel production capacity allowing the country to supply steel to the whole East African region,” said Mr Raval.
“This is going to be the second-largest in Africa after South Africa’s Iron and Steel Industrial Corporation,” he added.
Commenting on why they settled on Kwale as the location of the project Mr Raval explained, “Our research revealed that Kwale County is one of the most marginalized counties in the country. We wanted to create an opportunity for communities here.”
The steel plant is also expected to reduce the cost of steel in the country whose demand has increased significantly in the recent years.
Mr Raval said that the plant is expected to bolster housing construction in Kenya which part of the country’s big 4 agenda.
Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said that the government would protect local manufacturers from unfair competition and create an enabling environment which will pave way for investments.