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Ashaka Cement’s N11b power plant ready in 2019


This photo taken on February 21, 2018, shows a section of LafargeHolcim-owned Ashaka Cement plant in Ashaka town, Gombe State. PHOTO: TONYE BAKARE

Nigeria’s energy problem will receive a much-needed boost early 2019 when the 16-megawatts power station being constructed by AshakaCem is completed.

AshakaCem is a subsidiary of Lafarge Africa and a member of the LafargeHolcin Group.

The 11-billion naira project began in 2017 and is expected to be completed in January 2019, the managing director of the company Rabiu Abdullah Umar said at a news conference in Gombe.

He said the power plant, when completed, will not only release additional megawatts to the national grid but also create employment opportunities.

The plant is also expected to boost the operational efficiency and tackle the high energy cost of the largest industry in Nigeria’s northeast.

“Last year, we started our power plant, which is a N11bn project, and we hope to inaugurate the project soon,” Umar said.

“Currently, we rely on generators for our operations, which consume much fuel and whether you are using diesel or petrol, it has strong correlation to foreign exchange.

“So, we are helping to remove ourselves from the demand for energy and providing our own solution, which means a minimum of 16 megawatts of electricity will now become available to the public grid for the people in the region to enjoy from. The power plant is our biggest plan aimed at reducing our costs.”

Umar also briefed newsmen on the CSR projects AshakaCem has carried out within its catchment area in the last few years.

He noted that the company has made youth empowerment, health and education the focal points of its CSR.

AshakaCem, The Guardian learnt, has donated blocks of classrooms at Piyau, Maiganga, and KayelBaga communities; three maternity clinics at Maiganga, Kayel-Baga and Kalkulum and electrification projects at Maiganga, Lakwalak, Kalkulim and Kayelbaga.

The company has also constructed an 11-kilometre feeder road that links Maiganga, Piyau, Kobuwa, Garin Maishanu & Kayelbaga communities, a multi-million naira 7. 5 Kilometer tarred road in Maiganga, Maiganga community women skill acquisition centre.

It has also launched Maiganga Employability Artisans Trainee Programme which has empowered over 150 youths.

According to Umar, AshakaCem would collaborate with the newly established Gombe State Polytechnic, Bajoga, to deepen artisanship programmes.

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