A $400 million cement plant in Zambia owned by Dangote Group will be commissioned and commence operations by the end of March, according to a report by the Lusaka Times.
Speaking to a group of Journalists on Thursday at departure at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola, Aliko Dangote, Africa's richest man and owner of the Dangote Group, said that the commissioning of the new cement plant which is located in Masaiti district in the Copperbelt, had been delayed as a result of flooding and a delay in getting the requisite permits from the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA).
"Hopefully, we will start production in the next two to three weeks or so and I think we are overcoming that. But the rainy season this year has been very intense which has given us a lesson to protect ourselves next time we are in operations. So by and large, we are pushing and the team will try and deliver the factory by the end of this month, our power is already on so we are making good progress," Dangote said.
Once operational, the Dangote Cement Plant will have a production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes annually and will create at least 1,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, Dangote is constructing another Cement Plant in Chilanga, a small town 20 km south of Zambia's capital city, Lusaka. The cement plant in Chilanga will cost an estimated $420 million.
"We have made good progress on the plant in Lusaka, we have already got permission to get into the land and start mining, so hopefully the same contractor might move there and build an identical plant with the one in Masaiti," Dangote said.
Aliko Dangote has been Africa's richest man for the past 5 years. His current fortune is estimated at $15.9 billion derived from investments in cement, sugar and flour.