Power crisis to cause cement shortage and price hikes

Business News of Saturday, 7 February 2015

Source: Citifmonline.com

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Citi Business News has learnt Ghana will soon experience acute cement shortage due to the worsening power crisis. Prices of the various brands of cement would automatically increase if the shortage hits the market.

Local cement producer Diamond Cement has shut down one of its two mills due to the ongoing load shedding across the country. The Industrial sector has been directed to increase the load they shed from 25% to 30% in the new load shedding program, translating into 2 days without power in a week.

The Power Minister Dr. Kwabena Donkor confirming this said Diamond cement is shedding 34 megawatts considering their latest move. According to Diamond Cement, the company will cut down by 30% its 5,000 ton daily production.

The assistant Commercial Manager of Diamond Cement Philemon Baiden said any attempt to find alternative means to sustain production will translate into an increase in the per unit cost of their product.

Currently a 50 Kilogram bag of diamond cement costs 27 cedis 30 pesewas. Another cement producer Dangote Cement Ghana Limited said the current power situation has increased their cost of production due to the fuel they buy for their standby generators.

The Sales and marketing manager of Dangote Cement Joseph Kobina Abu said the company is currently absorbing the extra cost, but there is a limit to that. A 50 Kilogram bag of Dangote Cement costs 32 cedis. A retailer of Ghacem Cement Nii, operates in a shop opposite the old timers bar in Adabraka.

Speaking to Citi Business News, Nii confirmed that cement supply has been regular this year.

But he said retailers expect the current power crisis to affect cement supply very soon considering trends over the years.

This will mean an increase in the price of a 50 kilogram bag of Ghacem cement now selling at 32 cedis.

Meanwhile the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has confirmed that Industries across the country can expect a review to the current 30% load they shed next month (March).

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