Institution of Kenya Engineers (IEK) held its monthly luncheon yesterday 4 day of April 2014 at Athi River. The event that was hosted by Rhino Cement, a product of Athi River Mining brought together engineers from all sectors.
Speaking at the luncheon, Commercial Director Rhino Cement, Mr. Bhatia said “this luncheon consisting of a trip to the Rhino Cement manufacturing plant seeks to foster the association between academics and the practical application of knowledge”.
The aim of the trip was mainly to give the engineers, an insight or background of how cement is produced right from conception to commissioning.
Athi River Mining has been producing cement since 1974, the firm had its first plant in Mombasa which produced 36,000 tonnes of cement. Through this the company was able to open other branches in Nairobi, Tanzania and Rwanda. Currently the Nairobi (Athi River) produces 75000 tonnes of cement to accommodate the growing market.
The mother plant that has helped it get so far is in Kaloleni. Through this the company could easily have access to raw material for processing cement and concrete.
“Major challenges that we encounter is the cost of power since most of our processes consume a lot of power in production. The cost of goods while exporting is very expensive and we wish that the government would create subsidies in order to promote local products,” Bhatia added.
Rhino cement ensures that the environment that surrounds the plant is environmentally friendly by installing dust control equipments which are installed in the plant and assist in containing the dust in one place.
Rhino cement participates greatly in giving back to the community by, initiating projects that help in conservation and also protecting endangered animals like Rhinos. They also offer sponsorship to students who can’t access quality education in Kajiado County.
The IEK luncheon was a wonderful opportunity for the engineers to tour the firm and demystify the cement industry that infrastructure development depends on so much.