The East African Portland Cement Company (EAPCC), a Kenya headquartered cement manufacturer, has reportedly restarted its efforts to avail an additional Sh2 billion from the government in order to repair its kiln. As per trusted sources, the firm has warned that further delays would bring an immediate halt to its operations.
Reportedly, the kiln has not been refurbished since its establishment in the year 1996 and has witnessed its capacity reduce by almost 50 percent. The kiln has been experiencing frequent breakdowns in the recent times with the latest one lasting 78 days this year. For the record, the firm’s kiln has a capacity to manufacture about 3,000 metric tons of clinker every day.
Speaking on the need of bailout package, Managing Director of EAPCC, Simon ole Nkeri reportedly informed the Parliament that the firm immediately requires Sh2 billion to commence a major shutdown of the kiln for at least one to two months as it has to be refurbished.
Once the struggling cement manufacturer avails the bailout funding, it would then install a crater cooler retrofit during the shutdown which will assist in cutting energy costs of the firm. The refurbishment of the kiln is expected to save power costs by at least 30 per cent, cite trusted sources.
Incidentally, authentic reports claim that EAPCC has laid off around 520 employees owing to myriad financial challenges in addition to struggling to keep the company afloat. However, the workers union had petitioned the Parliament to intervene on their behalf as the abrupt termination of contracts has resulted in unjustifiable suffering for their families.
Sources familiar with the development claim that the company has been reeling under debt in the recent times and is spending Sh120 million on an average to pay its electricity expenses each month.