The Dangote Cement Plc, a subsidiary of the Dangote Group recently unveiled its plan to kick off mining coal at Ankpa, Kogi State this November.
The company attributed this move to the acute gas shortage in the Nigeria, following disruptions of supply as a result of militant activities in the Niger Delta region. They further explained that they switched its plant lines to coal to minimise cost.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Dangote Cement, Onne, van der Weijde, said that disruption to the gas supply had deteriorated, adding: “These are challenging times for Nigeria and Dangote Cement but we are taking strong actions that will position the company for continuing success. Our coal mining initiative will benefit both the company and the Nigerian economy by reducing the need for foreign exchange and helping us to both protect existing jobs and create new ones. “Although we have indicated a more measured approach to our expansion across Africa, we have new operations opening soon in Congo and Sierra Leone and these will strengthen the company’s profitability and generate additional foreign currency earnings. Despite the challenges we are facing, we continue to focus on becoming a global force in cement production.”
The company explained that the devaluation of the naira had increased costs in its largest cement market, forcing the company to increase the ex-factory price of the product by N600 per bag.
According to their representatives, many of its production line are now capable of running entirely on coal. They now expect that this development would put an end the company’s dependence on gas supplies, imported coal and, more significantly, LPFO (Low Pour Fuel Oil).
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