By Alex C
Nigeria’s Dangote Cement has applied for a licence from the Tanzania government to build a 75 megawatt coal-fired plant which would power a $500 million cement factory now under construction, Tanzania’s energy watchdog said.
“Dangote Industries … applied for a 75 MW electricity generation licence to build, own and operate a coal-based captive power plant adjacent to its cement manufacturing plant,” the state-run Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading cement producer plans to roll out plants across Africa to reach an annual capacity of 62 million tonnes by 2017, up from a projected 42 million tonnes this year.
But any corporate expansion plan in Africa must contend with power shortages, which are common across the continent. Businesses often complain that poor or erratic supplies deter investors and push up costs.
All the electricity would be “used to run the plant and machinery for the manufacture of cement, utilities and housing colony”, EWURA said.
Dangote Cement, owned by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, already operates in 13 African countries and posted $2.45 billion in revenue last year. The factory is scheduled to be commissioned in the second half of next year. With an annual capacity of 3 million tonnes, it will supply Tanzania’s domestic market and export to landlocked nations in the region.