• May 25, 2024
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President inaugurates a clinker plant worth Sh45 Billion in West Pokot

President inaugurates a clinker plant worth Sh45 Billion in West Pokot


Tuesday April 9, 2024

KNA by Anthony Melly / Richard Muhambe

President Ruto has officially inaugurated a clinker plant valued at Sh45 billion at Sebit limestone mines in Kipkomo Sub County along the Kapenguria-Lodwar Highway.

He noted the inauguration of the clinker plant marks another significant milestone in the ambitious expansion of the industrial blueprint in the Republic.

The President told residents of West Pokot that they were now presented with a unique chance to witness an untapped resource that holds great potential for their county and could bring significant economic benefits to them and the entire nation.

He said the commissioning of the clinker plant was monumental step in the industrial journey that aligns investment and productivity with a quest for self-reliance in strategic goods.

The President praised the admirable contribution of the Devki Group of Companies in their journey, specifically their investments in National Cement and now Cemtech Limited.

He disclosed that the investments would result in the production of six million tonnes of clinker per year, effectively fulfilling the country’s demand.

He said the opening of the clinker plant woud increase the country’s annual income production to over 11 million tonnes, exceeding the current demand by five million tonnes.

The President also acknowledged the admirable achievements of the Devki Group, noting their billion-dollar investments (equivalent to approximately Sh150 billion) in the country’s economy over the past five years, particularly in the steel and cement manufacturing sectors.

“I want to congratulate my brother Guru for having the confidence in our country. It takes courage, it takes belief for one to invest Sh150 billion even if it is counted in whatever currency,’’ he said.

President Ruto emphasized that one billion dollars was a significant amount of money when it comes to investment, regardless of the currency used for calculation.

He commended the company for directly employing 11,000 individuals countrywide and indirectly benefiting over 14,000 Kenyans.

Furthermore, he revealed that the plant, which has been operational for the past four years in West Pokot, has provided employment to 5,000 people and that moving forward, an additional 2,500 individuals would join the workforce, not including the transporters and other workers who would also benefit from the plant’s ecosystem.

President Ruto expressed his belief that the business and entrepreneurs developed by the clinker plant would greatly contribute to Kenya’s future prospects, as well as the future of West Pokot.

He opined that West Pokot County was on the verge of experiencing an economic resurgence, with increased incomes and various revenue sources associated with the factory, including wages and consumption.

Moreover, he emphasized that at a national level, the economic benefits of Devki’s investment are significant and substantial.

The local manufacturing of clinker steam has also saved the country approximately 500 million dollars in foreign exchange annually.

The President noted that the Devki Group of Companies contributes a monthly sum of Sh2 billion in taxes to the government, totalling Sh24 billion annually, and Sh1 billion each month in power charges to Kenya Power Company.

“This level of dedication and financial contribution exemplifies an immeasurable sense of patriotism towards the Republic of Kenya. I would like to extend my congratulations to my friend Raval,” he stated.

He mentioned that when Devki Companies established themselves in Kenya, they overcame the obstacles faced by those who had been making excuses for not investing in West Pokot for the past 13 years since the ground breaking of the clinker plant.

Dr. Raval’s relentless pursuit of progress, despite the skepticism of those with negative views on the region’s security and other unfavourable factors, has resulted in an impressive investment of Sh45 billion in the area.

He said the Devik Group of companies eloquently illustrated a power of investment, promoted self-sufficiency and export production, created employment, increased economic activity, utilized local resources and yielded beneficial outcomes for both investors and for the nation.

Furthermore, he shed light on the underlying principles of the bottom-up economic transformation agenda by highlighting the significance of investment, manufacturing, and industrialization in achieving the country’s self-sufficiency and successful exportation of goods.

He emphasized the significance of establishing incentives to encourage greater investment from local investors in the manufacturing sector, with the aim of enhancing competitiveness through the adoption of highly efficient technologies.

He pointed out that strategic investment in manufacturing would increase exports, create employment opportunities, boost economic activity using local resources and generate attractive returns for investors.

He said the goal aligns with the objective of expanding the country’s manufacturing sector to reach an ambitious target of 20 percent of GDP.

President Ruto spoke when he was addressing the audience at the inauguration ceremony of the Cemtech Limited Clinker Plant in Sebit, West Pokot County.

Devki Group of Companies Chairman Dr. Narendra Raval said the people of West Pokot were very welcoming and were proud of the project.

He expressed his belief that the project would have a transformative impact on the perception of Pokot, the security of its people, and the income levels of the local community.

Dr. Raval observed that refraining from imports would enable the nation to generate additional employment opportunities, facilitate the preservation of foreign exchange and ensure the stability of the country’s currency for an extended duration.

As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, he revealed that they have implemented feeding programmes for students in schools located near the clinker plant and constructed classrooms and even provided salaries to some of teachers in those schools.

West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin expressed his gratitude to the President for officially opening the clinker plant in the area.

He also acknowledged Dr. Narendra Raval, the Group Chairman of Devki Group of companies, for showing confidence in the region despite hearing negative feedback from other investors about West Pokot.

Governor Kachapin assured the President that they would give Dr Raval all the support his company would require for its success.

The President was accompanied by various government officials, including the Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen, Mining Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya, and Investment, Trade, and Industry Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano.

Additionally, Members of Parliament, Members of County Assembly, investors, and other esteemed guests were also present.

Courtesy; KNA

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