The kiln at the Grande Cimenterie Katanga (GCK) cement plant, close to Likasi in the Haut-Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), will push the DRC’s annual lime production up to 300 000 tonnes per annum (tpa), and its annual cement production to far more than 2.2 million tonnes per year (Mtpa). The DRC Minister of Industry Julien Paluku Kahongya, with his colleague from Mines, Willy Kitobo, officially opened the kiln last week.
The GCK project is part of the vision of the DRC government, under Head of State Félix Tshisekedi, to diversify the battered economy and create more jobs for local Congolese. “We salute the partnership between the DRC, Belgium and China, which allows us to launch the production of the new modern lime kiln at the large Katanga cement plant. If operating at full capacity, it could result in the DRC being able to retain close to USD3-billion within the country’s borders. If the shareholders and the director general reassure the Congolese government that if the production will be constant, we will ban the import of these products,” said Kahongya.
The cement industry in the DRC produced about 527 199t in the first half of 2020 against 614 630t produced in the same period in 2019, a decrease of 14.22%, according to data provided by the Central Bank of Congo in its summary statistics.
However, the rate of the use of the installed capacity of the cement industry remains below the average in the first half of 2020, i.e. 43.91%. This drop in production can be explained by the economic slowdown due to the covid-19 health crisis since the first half of March 2020.