Ashaka Cement builds N11bn power plant to tackle high energy cost
by Chuka Uroko
February 22, 2018 | 7:22 am| | | Start Conversation
Ashaka Cement, a subsidiary of Lafarge Africa and a member of the LafargeHolcin Group, has embarked on an ambitious project that will see it reducing its energy cost significantly.
The company says it is building an N11 billion power plant which, according to Rabiu Abdullahi Umar, the managing director, will be generating 16 megawatts of electricity.
“We want to generate our own electricity to meet our neefds. Currently, we rely on generators for our operations which consume much fuel and whether you are using diesel or petrol, it has strong correlation to foreign exchange”, Umar said in an interview in Gombe Wednesday.
“The power plant is our biggest plan aimed at reducing our costs”, Umar added, explaining that, like other manufacturing concerns, energy constitutes the largest component of cement production cost.
Cement is an essential product in Nigeria as a major building component whose price remains high in the country despite what close industry watchers see as near-self sufficiency in the production.
But expectation is that with investments such as Ashaka’s power plant and increased capacity which Umar said was part of their plans, prices will come down considerably.
With that too, house prices will come down and the wide housing demand supply gap estimated at 17 million units will be narrowed.
Ashakam Cement, fondly called ‘Star of the North” is the biggest industry in the north eastern part of Nigeria with one million metric tons installed capacity.
The company is located in Gombe where it is impacting positively on the lives of the host community through its healthcare, education and youth empower programmes.
About 56 percent of its workforce comes from Gombe and about 70 percent from the northeast. The company has two schools with about 1000 pupils and 20 percent of them is from the community receiving free education.
Chuka Uroko, Gombe
Big Read |