Minister of Industry and Trade Joseph Mwanamvekha says he is impressed with the US$65 million new plant Shayona Cement Corporation is putting up at its base in Kasungu and has promised government support towards the investment.
He was speaking on Wednesday during a tour he undertook at the factory which is expected to become the largest cement investment in the country.
Mwanamvekha said it was government’s obligation to protect such investments, even where they are facing hostility from the hosting communities.
“This is a very important investment to the country and as government we need to protect investments that have direct economic contributions,” said Mwanamvekha.
The factory has been undergoing expansions and is currently at phase two which involves installation of a clinker manufacturing plant.
Shayona Cement Corporation managing director, Jitendra Patel, said the project will be completed by end of next year and will boost production to meet the current national annual cement requirement.
He said when commissioned, the factory will help save an estimated US$50 million annually the country presently uses to import cement.
In terms of managing relations with the community, Patel disclosed that the company has set aside K25 million for corporate social responsibility activities that will directly benefit the surrounding commumities through clean water, medical drugs and, infrastructure, among other things.
Shayona Cement Corporation started operations in 1994 .