Aliko Dangote finally opens coal mine in Tanzania after President Magufuli intervenes
Tanzania has offered his Dangote Cement Company a 10-square-kilometre plot of land in the southeastern town of Mtwara, land to mine coal for its operations.
Last week the Nigerian billionaire and the company’s owner Aliko Dangote held talks with Tanzania's President John Magufuli over stalled negotiations on natural gas prices.
After their fruitful meeting Dr. magufuli who blamed middle men for the delay ordered the country’s National Development Corporation (NDC) to allocate Dangote Cement a section of Ngaka coal mine in Mbinga District, Ruvuma Region.
“NDC and Tancoal should understand that the coal doesn’t belong to them, but Tanzanians. If this company gets enough coal, it will help to lower cement prices. This, in turn, will make the lives of the majority of Tanzanians better.” H said as quoted by a local media.
Dr. Magufuli had also complained that coal production under Tancoal Energy Limited, which has been contracted by NDC, was “very poor”.
Dangote runs on expensive diesel generators and had asked for the government support in facilitation of buying natural gas directly from the state-run TPDC (Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation in order to operate profitably which the president agreed.
Dangote set up the $500 million cement factory with an annual capacity of 3 million tonnes in 2015 amid pomp and colour but high operational costs associated mainly with overdependence on diesel have led to a slow down on production since the beginning of the last quarter of this year.
Tanzania has banned the importation of coal from South Africa and as result Tancoal is the only coal producing company in the country but it cannot meet the entire market demand.
Dangote, Africa’s biggest cement producer, is seeking to double Tanzania’s annual output of cement to 6 million tonnes.
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