CEMENT uptake in the country increased by the highest pace last year, driven by the booming construction industry.
Kenya National Bureau of Statistics data show the consumption of cement reached 5.23 million metric tonnes in November, slightly higher than the 5.19 million metric tonnes that was used throughout 2014.
High uptake of cement indicates heightened activity in the construction sector, KNBS said.
The data show construction sector grew by 11.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2015 compared to a growth of 7.6 per cent in a similar period in 2014.
The growth was mirrored in cement consumption which expanded by 15.5 per cent over the first quarter to 1.36 million metric tonnes 1.16 million metric tonnes over the same period previously.
The sector, however, recorded decelerated growth of 9.9 per cent during the second quarter of 2015 compared to a growth of 16.6 per cent during the same quarter in 2014.
Cement consumption was highest in the third quarter, when it stood at 1.44 million metric tonnes, compared to 1.3 million metric tonnes in a similar period in 2014.
“The construction sector is estimated to have expanded by 14.1 per cent between July to September compared to a growth of 8.8 per cent in the same period of 2014. The growth was on account of increased public infrastructure projects and private sector development in the real estate sector,” KNBS said.
The high demand for cement in the review period, pushed the manufacturing firms to increase their production capacity, reaching 5.84 million metric tonnes in the period to November 30, 2015.
Cement production stood at 5.88 million metric tonnes in 2014.
Cement manufacturers in the country include EAPCC, Bamburi, ARM, National Cement and Savannah Cement.
In 2012, Bamburi invested in a Sh540 million filter kiln to eliminate dust emissions and save energy during cement production.
Last year ARM said it had adopted new technology that will boost its cement production capacity and significantly reduce the cost of construction while Savannah Cement confirmed plans to invest more than $200million in the installation of a high efficiency milling plant to meet growing demand for its products.
On the other hand, National Cement wants to invest Sh18.5 billion ($199 million) in a new factory in Uganda.