Obajana cement plant in Kogi State, Nigeria is the biggest cement plant in sub Saharan Africa and considered one of the biggest cement plants in the world. It is one of several factories owned by Dangote Cement plc. Obajana Cement plant is owned by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote; whose ambition is to become the world’s biggest cement producer.
Where is Obajana Cement Plant located?
This huge factory can be found in Oworo district in Lokoja local government area of Kogi state, Nigeria. Oworo district is a mountainous terrain that stretches into several cities to the north by Igbira Igu(Egbura), northwest by Kakanda, west by the Abinu and to the south by Ebira land. Obajana is also one of the towns in Oworo land.
Quick facts about Obajana Cement Plant
- The firm was incorporated in 1992 and began operation in 2012
- The plant has 13.25mt of capacity across four lines
- It’s newest line was constructed in 2014
- It relies on Gas, Coal and LPFO for power
- In November 2014, a coal mill was commissioned to serve Line 3
- The plant is supported by a fleet of 2,370 trucks
- Obajana has limestone reserves of 647 million tonnes expected to last for about 45 years
- The limestone and additives are both sourced from the Obajana mines
Equipment and components used in Obajana Cement Plant
- Cement kilns
- Rotary kilns
- Ancillary Equipment
- Fuel mills
- Exhaust Gas Cleaning Equipment
This is where the limestone are heated to a very high temperature to produce clinkers. The cement kilns consumes a lot of energy and also it is the highest emitter of green-house gas.
The rotary kiln consists of a tube made from steel plate, and lined with firebricks. Its gradual rotation forces the raw mix down the kiln which is then heated with fuel.
The precalciner system is a suspension preheater in which, in addition to the kiln flame, extra fuel is burned in the base of the preheater.
Coolers are used to cool the clinker rapidly, which is desirable. Hot air can also be gotten from the coolers which are used for fuel drying.
There are two ways of getting fuel from the fuel mills to the kilns. One by direct feeding the fuel at a controlled rate to the fuel mill and secondly by grounding the fuel in a run mill and storing in a silo which is then supplied to the kiln though fuel mill stoppage periods.
Fans are also used to force air through the cooler bed, and to propel the fuel into the kiln. Fans account for most of the electric power consumed in the system.
This is done using an electrostatic precipitator and bag filters. According to environmental regulations, the gas should carry a minimal amount of dust which is usually put at 0.1grams per cubic meter.
On the 1st of April 2012 the community of Obajana issued a communique to the management of Obajana cement plant to provide basic amenities for inhabitants of the community. Parts of the issues raised were the dualization of the Lokoja—Obajana and Kaba road and also the provision of houses, hospitals, electricity, water and houses to the people of Obajana.
How it sells its cement
It sells its cement in bulk to distributors who come from all parts of Nigeria. It also exports its cement outside Nigeria. Recently it started direct sales to consumers to reduce the cost of cement.
How profitable is the plant
Obajana Cement Plant in kogi State is the biggest source of revenue for Dangote Cement Plc. According to proshareng, approximately 54.70% and 55.70% of Dangote Cement’s revenues and pre-tax profits came from its gas powered Obajana Cement Plant in 2012. Its major markets are in Abuja; the federal capital of Nigeria, which is witnessing a construction boom as well as other parts northern Nigeria.
Key people in the company
- Aliko Dangote Chairman of the board
- Onne van der weijde Chief Executive Officer
- Brian Egan Group chief Financial Officer
- Albert Corcos Regional CEO, E&S Africa
- Daljeat Ghai Regional CEO,Nigeria
- Roger Goldschmidt Act. Regional CEO, W&C Africa
- Devakumar Edwin Non-Executive Director
- Sani Dangote Non-Executive Director
- Joseph Makoju Non-Executive Director
- Knut Olvmoen Sales Director, Nigeria
Major Challenges encountered during the construction of the plant
Like most manufacturing plants in Nigeria, the Obajana cement plant faced many infrastructural challenges before it became fully operational. Some of the initial challenges and solution are discussed below;
- Lack of gas pipeline: An 90 kilometres long, 18 inches diameter gas pipeline was constructed to supply gas to the facility
- No water supply: A dam had to be constructed to supply ground water
- Lack of telecommunication system: Satellite telephones were purchased and satellite connections were installed for data communication
- Lack of good road network: a 3 kilometres by-pass road was constructed
- No power supply: a 225 megawatts capacity gas turbines based power plant was constructed
- No housing infrastructure: 700 house units were constructed for staff
How Obajana Cement Plant was financed
The plant was built with a total estimated cost of $798 million. This money was financed with sponsor’s equity of $319 million (40% of the Project’s capitalization) and $479million in form of long-term debt from local and international lenders. The Sponsor is Dangote Industries Ltd (DIL), a leading Nigerian manufacturing and trading company.
Pricing of the cement
The price of Dangote cement has undergone continuous variations over the years. In September 2015 it slashed the price of cement by 300 Naira in order to make its products more affordable to its consumers. In November 2014, Dangote cement slashed its cement to 1000 naira per 50 kg for the 32.5 cement grade and N 1,250 for the 42.5 cement grade. However in 2015, Dangote cement plc would increase this price citing high cost involved in manufacturing.
Obajana Cement Plant since 2012 when it was commissioned has continued to produce high grade cement that have been used for several construction projects throughout the country.
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