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Leading industrialist and President Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has jump-started coal mining in the southeastern town of Mtwara,Tanzania as part of build up to the takeoff of Dangote Cement firm.
Business Hilights gathered that Tanzania’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals at the weekend handed a 10-square-kilometre plot of land to the $500 million cement factory set up in 2015 by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man.
The factory has an annual capacity of 3 million tonnes.
Local media, The Citizen reported weekend that the coal concession was sanctioned by President John Magufuli to allow the company get a reliable supply of coal to fuel its activities.
Entry of Dangote into Tanzania was further boosted by a recent ban placed by the Tanzanian government on the importation of coal from South Africa.
Dangote according to sources decided to begin with coal mining because of the discovery of the fact that Tancoal, the only one coal producing company in the country, cannot meet the entire market demand.
Before now, Dangote runs on expensive diesel generators and requested Tanzanian government support last year to supply natural gas at a reduced price.
President Magufuli later intervened after a meeting with Nigerian billionaire and the company’s owner Aliko Dangote over stalled negotiations on prices.
He blamed middlemen for the delay in supply plans and said Dangote “will now buy natural gas directly from the state-run TPDC (Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation)”.
Dangote, Africa’s biggest cement producer, is seeking to double Tanzania’s annual output of cement to 6 million tonnes.