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Cimpor launches new cement product in Cameroon, expanding national production capabilities

Cimpor launches new cement product in Cameroon, expanding national production capabilities
  • Comments   -   Wednesday, 03 April 2024 10:04

(Business in Cameroon) - In recent weeks, the coastal city of Kribi in Cameroon's South region has seen the arrival of Powercem 32.5 cement in local hardware stores, marking the latest product launch from Cimpor (Cements of Portugal). The company has just finalized its cement manufacturing facility within the Kribi industrial and port district. Details regarding the investment for this facility, which is designed to produce up to one million tons of cement annually, have not been shared.

As a reminder, Cimpor launched its first cement product - Powercem 42.5- on the local market in June 2023. However, unlike the newly launched Powercem 32.5 cement which is currently exclusive to Kribi, Powercem 42.5 is accessible in several Cameroonian cities, With the inauguration of its Kribi plant, Cimpor positions itself as the sixth cement manufacturer in Cameroon, arriving nine years after the end of the monopoly of Cimenteries du Cameroun (Cimencam, 2.3 million tons capacity with its new Figuil line). The market, once dominated for 48 years by this subsidiary of Lafarge Holcim Maroc Afrique (LHMA), opened up with the entrance of Dangote Cement Cameroon in 2015, owned by Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote with a 1.5 million tons capacity. It was later on joined by Moroccan Cimaf (1.5 million tons, with its Douala plant expansion completed this March), Turkish-owned Medcem Cameroon (600,000 tons), and Mira Company (1.5 million tons, with a new line started in June 2022).

Cimpor's venture into the Cameroonian cement market increases the country's total production capacity to 8.4 million tons. This improvement not only satisfies domestic demand, estimated at around 8 million tons but also paves the way for exports. Yet, the cost of a 50kg bag of cement remains relatively high compared to other nations at a similar development level. Cimpor, despite being the latest entrant into the market, has also pegged its price range for a 50kg bag of 42.5 cement between CFA5,100 and CFA5,300, aligning with the prevailing rates in the nation's major cities.

In response to consumer complaints about prices not falling despite increased competition, producers and the government cite the cost of clinker imports, which raises production costs. The government has sometimes suspected producers of illegal price-fixing.

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