At the end of 2020 Africa’s cement industry had a cement capacity of 386.1 Mt/a. The Top 10 companies account for 202.2 Mt/a or 52.4% of the capacity (Figure 12).
There are more than 50 other suppliers which combine 183.9 Mt/a or 47.6% of the capacity, which shows that the cement industry in Africa is still very fragmented. The influence of the foreign cement producers has become smaller and smaller in the last few years. Within the Top 10 only Holcim, HeidelbergCement, Intercement and Vicat have their headquarters outside Africa and are responsible for only 86.6 Mt/a or 22.4% of Africa’s cement capacity.
Other foreign producers include Cemex, Votorantim, Titan Cement, Cementos Molins, Cementos Portland Valderrivas, Secil, Medcem and last but not least Huaxin and Tangshan Jidong Cement and other smaller Chinese producers.
Here are the top 9 largest cement producers in Africa:
Nigerian-based Dangote has become the largest cement producer in Africa. The company has a total cement capacity of 48.6 Mt/a across Africa, of which 32.3 Mt/a alone are installed in Nigeria and 16.3 Mt/a in nine other countries including Tanzania, South Africa, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Rep. Congo, Ghana, Senegal, Zambia and Sierra Leone. The company started as a trading business with the import of bagged cement and bulk cement, which was bagged in the import terminals.
Later in the 1990s Benue Cement and Obajana Cement were acquired, before the first new cement plant was installed in Obajana in 2007. Obajana now has a cement capacity of 16.25 Mt/a, making it the largest plant in Africa (Figure 13). The Ibese cement plant in Nigeria is Dangote’s second largest plant. The goal is to export clinker from these plants to the company’s own grinding plants in neighbouring countries in West and Central Africa.
In July 2021 the Group name Lafarge-Holcim was changed to Holcim. Holcim Group is now synonymous with trusted brands such as ACC, Aggregate Industries, Ambuja Cements and Lafarge. In Africa, the company has a cement capacity of 40.9 Mt/a in 16 countries and of 61.4 Mt/a when the joint ventures in Morocco, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Guinea and Benin are included. Holcim is the market leader in Kenya (Figure 14).
However, their largest capacities are in Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt. In 2007, Holcim completed the sale of 85% of its 54% stake in Holcim South Africa to AfriSam Consortium. The divestments continue in 2021. In January 2021, it was decided to divest the Company’s 35% equity interest in CBI Ghana, a cement grinding operation located in the Port of Accra. China-based Huaxin Cement intends to spend US$ 150 million on purchasing a 75% stake in Lafarge Zambia and US$ 10 million on acquiring Pan African Cement from Lafarge Cement Malawi.
Heidelberg entered the market in Africa through the acquisition of Scancem in 1999. Today the Group has 26.3 Mt/a cement capacity from integrated cement plants in Egypt, Morocco, DR Congo, Tanzania and Togo (Figure 15) and grinding plants in five other countries in West Africa, namely Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as one other in Mozambique.
The company’s production sites in Africa are primarily located close to urban centres and are therefore well positioned to serve the growing cement demand. However, the majority participation in Suez Cement in Egypt was recently delisted from the stock exchange and 11.3% of the shares in Ciments du Maroc were sold. It cannot be excluded that due to the portfolio optimisation strategy of the company more African assets will be sold.
The state-owned Groupe Industriel des Ciments d’Algerie (GICA) comprises 14 subsidiaries with a combined cement capacity of 20 Mt/a. The Group was created on 26 November 2009 by combining the state-owned Algerian cement and building material companies. Today, each cement company works independently and publishes its own economic reports and balance sheets. In five companies a second investor holds a minority stake, including BuzziUnicem and Saudi Pharaon Group. Except for the Bechar cement plant (Figure 16), all other plants are in proximity to the coast, which offers excellent export opportunities. The largest plants are those in Chlef, Setif (Ain El Kebira) and Sigus (Oum El Bouaghi), each one with 6000 t/d clinker capacity and more than 2 Mt/a cement capacity.
The Egyptian Armed Forces are the owners of the Al-Arish plant in Beni Suef, Egypt. The plant comprises six identical kiln lines, each with 6000 t/p, and it is the biggest cement plant in the world to be built all at one time and in one place (Figure 17). The rated cement capacity is 12.5 Mt/a. The Beni Suef plant produced its first clinker in December 2017, when Egypt already had a large excess cement capacity. The Al-Arish plant reported that cement prices have fallen by 25 to 30% since the project was completed.
The group was founded in 1988 by Anas Al-Sefrioui, a pioneer in real estate in Morocco. In 2007 Ciments de l’Atlas (CIMAT) was formed and the simultaneous construction of two cement plants with a capacity of 1.6 Mt/a was launched. Ciments d’Afrique (CIMAF) was created in 2011 with the objective of installing cement grinding plants in sub-Saharan Africa. The first plant was installed in the Ivory Coast and then more plants followed in Guinea, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Rep. Congo, Ghana, Mali and Mauretania. The grinding plant capacities are between 0.3 and 1.6 Mt/a. Most of the plants have a capacity of 0.5 Mt/a. The total cement capacity of the Addhoha Group is 12.0 Mt/a.
Pretoria Portland Cement has a cement capacity of 11.6 Mt/a from seven integrated cement plants and seven grinding stations across the sub-Saharan countries South Africa (Figure 18), Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, DR Congo and Rwanda. In Ethiopia, the company has a 37.7% share in Habesha Cement. PPC has a world-class asset base and spent over US$ 750 million in the past five years on increasing their cement capacity. Beside the cement plants, PPC operates one lime plant (1.0 Mt/a) and two slag grinding plants (0.75 Mt/a). PPC states its cement capacity replacement value as R 36.0 billion at US$ 230 per annualised tonne.
BUA Cement is one of the most dynamic cement producers in Africa. The company was incorporated in 2008 and commenced operations in the same year through its floating cement terminals in Nigeria. In 2009, the BUA Group acquired the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria or CCNN (Sokoto Cement) and Edo Cement. Today, the company has a capacity of 11.0 Mt/a from its Kalambaina plant (Sokoto State) and Obu plant (Edo State). During 2020, it achieved a capacity utilisation above 60% with both plants. However, three new cement lines are under development.
The other Top 10 cement producers in Africa are Intercement and Vicat. Intercement has 10.7 Mt/a cement capacity from its plants in Egypt (Amreyah Cement), Mozambique (Cimentos de Moçambique) and South Africa (Natal Portland Cement). In 2018 a cement grinding plant was acquired in Mozambique, bringing the company’s capacity in the country to 3.1 Mt/a. The Vicat Group, on the other hand, has cement production plants in Egypt, Senegal, Mali and Mauretania. With a cement capacity of 3.5 Mt/a, Sococim is the largest cement producer in Senegal.