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Kenya cement maker to use coal

NYAHURURU, Kenya, Jun 10 – The East African Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) intends to shift its source of energy from fuel oil to coal as an increasing number of local companies opt to generate their own electricity to lower power costs, improve reliability of supply and add new sources of revenue.

The company has already announced plans for a coal plant that includes the recycling of waste heat from its clinker furnaces.

"Cost of power has become a major concern for every industry and we don\’t see the cost of power coming down. So most people who can afford to produce their own electricity are actually going for it," said Eng John Nyambok, the company’s Managing Director.

He said this would also see the company come up with more environmentally friendly products and by-products which will help in value addition.

Eng Nyambok said the installation of coal and bio-fuels by the company will help reduce the cost of energy drastically and enable the company save close to Sh1 billion per year.

He pointed out that the company spends about Sh2 billion every year in fuel and oil used to heat low materials saying this will now go down to about 50 percent.

Speaking in Nyahururu town on Thursday, the MD said the cost saved in production will go towards upgrading of the existing facilities and also giving back to the society through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme.

This includes environmental conservation activities, sports sponsorship among others.

He made the remarks at the Central West Regional Commissioner’s office when he made a courtesy call to Wycliffe Ogalo after visiting cement distributors in Nyahururu town and its environs.

“We at EAPCC are tasked with ensuring that we deliver outstanding performance and superior returns to both our customers our valued shareholders”, he said adding that this is why we are looking for other alternative sources of energy to cut cost.

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He thanked the government for its continued support to the company saying its various construction works contracted by government departments had enabled the industry to grow tremendously and hence increasing on its profit margin.

He at the same time announced that the company was set to register a subsidiary company in Uganda as parts of its regional expansion programme.

He said that the Board had set various strategic moves into place to ensure that EAPCC continues to grow its market share not only in Kenya but in the greater East African region.

“This actually goes along with our vision and mission of being regional leader in the provision of cement, innovative cement products and solutions and to provide cement for infrastructural solutions to the satisfaction of our stakeholders,” he observed.

On environmental conservation, the Managing Director said EAPCC has undertaken to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from its operations, in line with the global initiatives to combat climate change as outlined in the Kyoto Protocol, which Kenya ratified in 2006.

He said the company has put in place several measures to ensure that the manufacturing of cement is done in an environmentally friendly manner, paying particular attention to GHG emission reduction.

He further added: “Cement manufacturers are always at loggerheads with the farmers because; farmers need rain to ensure their crops grow, while as cement manufacturers, cement is difficult to process and produce because the rain makes it hard for the machines  to breakdown the dust particles because they will require more power and energy to do so.”

He however encouraged investors and builders to use certified cement products that guarantee long lasting expectations noting that some buildings have collapsed due to the use of substandard products and use of wrong building materials.

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