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Tanzania to double cement output in coming years

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Tanzania expects to double its cement production in the next few years as new factories come on-stream to satisfy growing demand from the construction sector, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

    Cement consumption is viewed as a barometer for construction activity, which is one of the main drivers of economic growth in the country.

Annual cement production in east Africa’s second-largest economy will rise to 6 million tonnes in a few years’ time as seven new factories start operations, deputy trade minister Janet Mbene told parliament, without being more specific about the timeframe.

Tanzania’s cement output rose 18.9 percent last year to slightly above 3 million tonnes on the back of higher demand.

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Mbene said the rise in output would mean Tanzania would produce a surplus to be exported.

    Cement makers operating in the country include Tanzania Portland Cement, which is 69.3 percent owned by a subsidiary of Germany’s Heidelberg Cement AG; Tanga Cement, 62.5 percent owned by Afrisam Mauritius Investment Holdings Limited; and Mbeya Cement, 62.76 percent owned by France’s Lafarge SA.

    The new cement factories under construction include a 3-million tonne capacity plant being built by Nigeria’s Dangote Cement, Mbene said.