In February, Cimerwa embarked on renovation and replacement of old machines and introducing new technologies which would enable the plant increase yearly production from 380,000 tones to 500,000 tones and 600,000 in 2018 and 2020 respectively.
The exercise affected the production capacity and caused cement scarcity on local market. Among other effects, the price was hiked and some construction projects were delayed.
Speaking in a press conference on Thursday in Kigali, MINICOM Minister, Vincent Munyeshyaka said that Cimerwa’s production covers 55% of local market. He said that the renovation will see the plant increase the production capacity.
He assured the public that normal cement supplies will have been restored available in June.
“Cement they are producing today is being distributed to people who had paid in advance, and the process will be over by May 31st. We believe that starting from June, Cimerwa cement will be available on the market,” he said.
As a way of closing the scarcity problem, Munyeshyaka said that they requested importers from Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya to increase the quantity of importation.
The Director General of Trade and Investment in MINICOM, Robert Opirah said that the importation volume was raised by 10,000 tones monthly.
Before Cimerwa productions reduce, Rwanda had been importing between 15,000 and 20,000 tones monthly.
“We discussed with importers and increased importation volume to the extent that 30,000 tones will have been imported this month only,” he explained.
According to MINICOM, different traders used the shortage and hiked the price. However, the ministry embarked on clamping down and penalized those who were found selling the cement at increased prices.