The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) meeting in Tunis early October last year agreed to finance the construction of a Cement factory in Rwanda. The project involves the construction of a 700,000 ton per annum cement plant that will replace the existing 100,000 ton plant with the objective of making up for cement supply shortage and satisfying local demand that continues to be high, mainly driven by housing sector growth and infrastructure development.
The plant will be located in Muganza , Rusizi District. A key ingredient in cement production, gypsum, will be imported by the Rwanda cement production plant (CIMERWA) from Kenya. Approximately 24,000 tonnes of gypsum will be required each year. Gypsum is available in eastern parts of Kenya and in Kajiado.
But imports from Kenya of heavy fuel oil are expected to take a hit following modification on the GIMERWA plant to replace the use of oil with peat – a locally available producing material.
After modification, the fuel shall comprise 70 per cent peat and 30 per cent oil. CIMERWA will however still import 13,860 tonnes of heavy fuel from Mombasa each year.
The Rwandese economy is currently going through a major upswing in terms of the number and size of construction projects with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) indicating that the current phase of the development boom started in 2007 when the country’s development and public works sectors experienced a sharp 10 per cent growth thus creating a shortage of office space and residential housing.
According to estimates by RDB the growth of the construction sector climbed to about 15 per cent in 2009 and is projected to have contributed to $141 million to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.