In Kenya, a cement works near Mombasa, has succeeded in exploiting all the natural advantages of its position on the east coast, including its proximity to the oil-rich states of the Arabian Gulf.
In Kenya, a cement works near Mombasa, has succeeded in exploiting all the natural advantages of its position on the east coast, including its proximity to the oil-rich states of the Arabian Gulf. In the last 20 years, the Bamburi cement works have grown from an industrial centre supplying the needs of the home market to a major export earner. Situated in an area with a ready supply of all the ingredients needed to make cement, the works has also been the site of an unique experiment in conservation. Disused quarries around the works have been converted into a game park, with forests and rocky pools masking the scarred landscape.
SYNOPSIS: Bamburi cement works lies a mile (1.6 kilometres) from the coral reefs along the coast. It stands on a bed of limestone, and this rock along with coral forms two of the basic components of cement. Nearby there are deposits of gypsum which is added to control the setting time of the cement.
Each stage of production is electronically monitored in this central control room. There are four main processes in the manufacture of Portland cement. Crushing and grinding the raw materials, mixing them in giant hoppers, burning the mixture in a kiln and then grinding the cement ingredients again while adding the gypsum. The works now produces more than 1.2 million tonnes of cement a year and Arab states are its main customers. Mixed with sand, cement forms concrete and is ideal for the construction of il pipelines.
The plant uses the most sophisticated oil-fired rotary kilns. The less-efficient coal-fired kilns were replaced after the completion of a giant oil refinery in Mombasa in 1967. Export earnings are expected to reach one million pounds sterling (1,860,000 U.S. dollars) this year -- after 20 years of steady growth into a major industrial centre.