Sudan cement plant a ‘challenging’ project

ASEC Cement has announced that it has begun production at Takamol, its greenfield cement plant on the left bank of the River Nile, 320 kilometres north of the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.

The total investment cost for Al-Takamol Cement stands at US$252.7 million.

“This was a very challenging plant,” said ASEC Cement chairman and CEO Giorgio Bodo. “Takamol is in a remote area on the left bank of the Nile, and the location was dictated by its proximity to the limestone quarries that give the plant an important competitive advantage. Although we are accustomed to working in remote locations and to dealing with intense heat, the challenges at Takamol were compounded by the fact that the two banks of the Nile were only recently connected by a bridge. Until a few months ago, we had been working with pontoons.”

ASEC Cement is a portfolio company of ASEC Holding, Citadel Capital’s platform company for investments in the regional engineering and construction industry.

At Takamol, ASEC Cement built 15 kilometres of roads to connect the plant to government roads, erected a water treatment station connected to the plant by a pipeline, and contracted to build its own 42 megawatts captive power plant, which now provides all of Takamol’s electricity needs.

“This tremendous effort gives us an important advantage over other factories now under construction in Sudan,” Bodo noted.

The plant has a nominal capacity of 1.45 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of clinker and 1.6 MTPA of cement.

The Takamol plant will reduce by half Sudan’s annual cement deficit of 3 MTPA.

According to a press release, ASEC Cement will control more than 12 million tonnes of annual cement production capacity by 2013 in five countries spanning from Algeria to Iraq-Kurdistan.