• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

Dangote 3X Cement: Another bold entry into building materials market

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Rising housing demand coupled with increased construction activities for housing delivery and infrastructure development in Nigeria has led to new products origination and offering in the building and construction materials market by manufacturers across the country.

The latest arrival in this market is the Dangote 3X Cement—a new and innovative brand coming from Dangote Cement which, over the years, has maintained leadership of the cement manufacturing sub-sector with 60 percent control of the market.

The authorities of this company believe that the challenge of leadership is in sustaining that position, disclosing that they have remained in that position by always being ahead of the market through research, innovation and occasional bold outing with new, higher product quality such as 3X Cement.

“Dangote is the market leader that looks ahead, asking where the market is going and what new difference they are going to make; the responsibility is there on the company to continue to lead by consistently making a difference and innovating”, Mansur Ahmed, Executive Director, Stakeholder Management and Corporate Communications, Dangote Cement, remarked at the media presentation of the 3X Cement brand in Lagos recently.

DVG Edwin, the Chief Executive Officer, had disclosed at another forum that the company’s adherence to global best practices informed the production of 42.5 grade cement in all its factories, adding that they chose to produce 42.5 cement grade because it is stronger and has better qualities. “The cement grade possesses higher strength capability and is rapid-setting, making it the preferred grade among block-makers, builders and construction workers”, he assured.

The introduction of the 3X Cement, apart from offering builders wider choices and variety, also aims to check the high incidence of building collapse in Nigeria cities and also leverage the opportunities that would be coming with the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) which promises more mortgage access and higher homeownership level in the country when it becomes fully operational.

The Dangote 3X is the brand name for the company’s 42.5R grade cement now sold in 50kg bags all over Nigeria and according to officials of Dangote Cement, it is of higher and superior quality with striking features. Explaining these features at its media presentation in Lagos recently, OAre Ojeikere, the Group Chief Marketing Officer of Dangote Cement, said the 3X stands for the product’s Xtra Strength, Xtra Life and Xtra Yield.

According to him, whereas the number 32.5 (as  found in other cement brands) refers to their strength, measured in Megapascals (MPA), which the cement achieves in 28 days of setting time, the 42.5 cement from Dangote achieves 42.5 MPA strength in 28 days setting time.

In terms of Xtra Life, Ojeikere explained further that 42.5 is ground finer than 32.5, giving a finer finish to concrete work, adding that the mixed cement has fewer air-pockets and therefore, adheres better and has longer life.

Because of its higher strength characteristics, he noted, 42.5 grade cement gives users higher yield than 32.5 in situations where strength is not a crucial factor, pointing out that for ordinary applications, cement users could mix more sand into the same quantity of 42.5 cement, thus increasing the volume and making more blocks.

He highlighted other features of the product, particularly its setting characteristics which he said was rapid (R) as against others that are normal (N). “42.5R cement sets more rapidly than 42.5N cement. For example, if ‘N’ reaches a strength level of 10MPA in two days, ‘R’ would reach 20MPA in the same time”, he said.

Continuing, he said, “because the initial strength development of ‘R’ is faster, users achieve higher levels of productivity; block makers and builders can de-mould earlier and therefore build more blocks and pillars, and because turn-around time is  faster, productivity improves”.

The new product is packaged in a new bag that has been designed, observing all regulatory standards to promote 3X brand using the distinctive Dangote colours which makes it easily identified by end users.

Joseph Makoju, the Honorary Adviser to President and Chief Executive of Dangote Group, said in his brief remarks at the presentation noted that because cement was scarce, it is always a subject of manipulation, adding that the cement market is now a buyer’s market, making it a big challenge to manufacturers.

Makoju who disclosed that he has been in cement business since 1975, hopes that the product price which has been a subject of concern would soon be settled by “the forces of demand and supply which are now at work”, adding that it is only through this that cement import could be stopped.

Chuka Uroko