Cement is a fundamental building material used in construction in Kenya. In East Africa, Kenya is leading in both cement production and consumption. As of August 2013, there were 6 companies in Kenya that were producing cement.  Three of these companies are listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange. Currently, there are ongoing talks to introduce two more cement producers in the growing market.

The companies that are listed at the NSE are: Bamburi Cement, ARM Cement Limited and East Africa Portland Cement Company. The private companies are Mombasa Cement, National Cement and Savannah Cement. Dangote Cement and Lake Cement are slated to enter the market soon.

Bamburi Cement is associated with the Nguvu brand. It was established in Mombasa in 1951. Production started 3 years later. It was listed at the NSE in 1970. It is the leading cement producer in Kenya in terms of production. In terms of shareholding, Lafarge Group takes the lion’s share at 58.6% (2012, Dyer & Blair). Bamburi Cement owns the Bamburi Special Products Ltd which produces precast concrete products and ready-mix concrete. Bamburi controls 40.5% of the market share.

East Africa Portland Cement produces Blue Triangle cement. It is the oldest cement producer in Kenya. Founded in 1933, EAPCC was initially a cement importer before it established its first production plant in Athi River in 1956. EAPCC shareholders include Lafarge Group (14.6%), the Government of Kenya’s Treasury (25.3%) and NSSF (27%). Bamburi Cement has a 12.5% stake in the company. EAPCC has also diversified into precast cement products. EAPCC controls 24% of the cement market.

Lafarge Group is a French company. It is the world’s second largest producer of cement. Globally, it runs 134 cement plants. In Bamburi Cement, Lafarge Group owns 58.6% of the shares through two companies: Fincem Holding Limited and Kencem Holding Limited. In EAPCC, owns 14.6% of the shares through a company called Cementia.

ARM Africa Ltd (formerly Athi River Mining) is the third largest cement producing company in Kenya with a 15.5% market share. Its flagship brand is Rhino cement. It was formed in 1974 as a family business. It was listed at the NSE in 1997. The majority shareholder is the founder’s family, Paunrana directly (46%) and also indirectly through a holding company. ARM also produces fertilizer, lime and industrial minerals.

Mombasa Cement is the fourth largest producer controlling 13% of the cement market. Although it was founded in 2007, its plant was opened in 2013 in Athi River. It produces Nyumba cement. It is a subsidiary of Uganda’s Tororo Cement Limited.

National Cement is the producer of the Simba cement. It was formed in 2008 by the Devki Group of Companies in Athi River. It controls 7% of the market.

Savannah Cement is also based in Athi River. Its main shareholders are a Chinese investor, Wan Ho (40%) and Savannah Heights (40%).  It is associated with the Savannah brand. It was commissioned in July 2012.

What better way to conclude than with Aliko Dangote‘s words, ahead of announcing plans to set up a $400million cement plant here in Kenya: “We have realized that if we really want to do something big in East Africa, we must operate in Kenya. We believe that in the next two and half years, we will be the dominant player in cement in Kenya.”