Dangote Seeks Zimbabwe Investments in Cement, Power, Coal Mining
ALIKO Dangote, Africa’s richest man, is considering investments in Zimbabwe’s cement, power generation and coal-mining industries as part of an expansion in the southern African nation.
Dangote Cement Plc may start building a 1,5 million metric tons-a-year cement plant by the first quarter of 2016, if all the necessary approvals are received, the Nigerian billionaire told reporters in Harare, the capital, on Monday.
Dangote Industries may invest in Zimbabwean power generation through Black Rhino Group, a US$5 billion African infrastructure fund in which U.S. private-equity group Blackstone Group LP is a co- investor.
A potential power investment in Zimbabwe could be “huge,” said Dangote. While the billionaire has interests ranging from sugar to oil, the majority of his investments outside Nigeria have been focused on cement.
Dangote Cement last week signed contracts with Chinese construction company Sinoma International Engineering to add 25 million metric tons across 11 countries, and Dangote said at the time he expects to reach more than 70 million tons of capacity once the projects are completed.
A Zimbabwean plant would help reach the next milestone of 100 million tons of cement capacity by 2020, he said on Monday.
Dangote flew into Zimbabwe this morning and met government ministers and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa before meeting President Robert Mugabe at State House in Harare.
Among the ministers met earlier by Dangote were Simbarashe Mumbengegwi (Foreign Affairs), Dr Samuel Undenge (Energy and Power Development), Walter Mzembi (Tourism) and Walter Chidakwa (Mines and Mining Development).
“We are in the country to scout for investment opportunities and invest like we have been doing in all the other African countries.
“We want to set up an integrated cement plant here that will be bigger than all the plants that we have. We look at setting up something that can translate into a million and half tonnes so that even when we continue to use cement, there won’t be a shortage of cement here. We will make cement available,” he said.
Dangote said the ball is in Zimbabwe’s court and after the completion of all paperwork, he will send a team next by week to look at areas of interest. Bloomberg/Staff Writer