Value of PIDG investment
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) covers a land area the size of Western Europe and has a population of 77.3 million people. Infrastructure development has been identified by the Government of the DRC as a key driver of economic growth. However, supplies of cement, a key material used in infrastructure projects, are unreliable and expensive. Cement is largely imported, as a number of DRC’s existing cement factories have fallen into disrepair. When available, cement trades at around US$300-US$400 per ton in the country’s capital, Kinshasa, compared with around US$120 per ton in Iraq and around US$102 per ton in the USA. Without access to reliable sources of affordable cement, vital infrastructure projects are unable to progress.
Pakistani company Lucky Cement, part of the Yumas Brothers Group, and the Rawji Group Industrial Corporation of the DRC sought to construct and operate the Nyumba Ya Akiba (NYA) cement factory to address the supply crisis. The two companies invested US$180m to develop the project, but struggled to access commercial bank finance due to the risk of investing in a fragile country. A consortium of three DFIs, including EAIF, provided a total of US$90m in long-term senior debt, enabling the project to progress. Located at Bas Congo, 250km from Kinshasa, the facility includes the production of clinker, a key binding agent in cement production. NYA also operates limestone mining facilities at a nearby quarry with over 40 years of proven resource. Using environmentally friendly technology, the factory is more efficient than existing facilities in the DRC. The NYA site has good road and rail access, and is close to the country’s main international port on the Congo River, maximising the factory’s potential for domestic sales and future cement exports.
The NYA plant became operational in late 2016, and is the first new cement factory to be built in the DRC for over 40 years. NYA produces up to 1.18m tonnes of cement per annum, overcoming a key barrier to infrastructure development in the country. Producing a reliable supply of cement domestically has substantially reduced the need for cement imports, resulting in significant savings for the government. Since NYA became operational, cement prices have fallen from US$11 to US$8 per bag, enabling more projects to access the materials required to progress. It is anticipated that access to more affordable, reliable cement supplies will boost employment in the country’s construction sector, with new infrastructure projects promoting DRC’s wider economic development. The project generated 360 construction jobs and has created 115 long-term posts, the majority of which are held by local people. Employees receive training to the highest international standards. NYA is committed to supporting communities in western DRC. The project company has built a school, bridges and solar water pumps and is providing livelihood training for local farmers. The company is also supporting construction of a new health centre at Mawete.
Cement is now readily available in Mawete. This has greatly enabled us to improve quality of our housings. We experience no longer shortages and cement price is reduced.