Dangote Cement Senegal : Cementing New Standards

Joshua MannLucy Pilgrim
Joshua Mann - Regional Director Lucy Pilgrim - Senior Editor
Highlights
  • Dangote Cement Senegal (DCS) has risen above recent industry challenges by radically reshuffling the deck in the local market since its entry into production in 2015.
  • DCS has gone from strength to strength to become Senegal’s third integration cement production unit, with an annual production capacity of 1.6 million tonnes (t) of cement.
  • DCS pays particular attention to preserving the environment and the planet’s health, which is reflected by the implementation of a stringent environmental protection policy.
  • “DCS is a major player in Senegal’s industrial fabric, employing over 1,000 people in total, either directly or indirectly,” says Ousmane Mbaye, CEO of Dangote Cement Senegal.

We revisit Dangote Cement Senegal, as the company continues to achieve success by tackling industry challenges head on. We speak to Ousmane Mbaye, CEO, about leveraging a sustainable approach.

CEMENTING NEW STANDARDS

The Senegalese industrial sector has evolved to become the second largest contributor to the national economy, accounting for approximately 22 percent of GDP. Moreover, the aggregates industry has kept pace with Senegal’s economic growth over the past decade, equating to 6.6 percent between 2014 and 2018.  

“However, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in 2022 have stagnated the healthy financial dynamic and, above all, exposed the extraversion of our economy,” opens Ousmane Mbaye, CEO of Dangote Cement Senegal (DCS).   

Evidently, between 2019 and 2023, growth slowed to 4.8 percent. To combat staggered economic development, the Senegalese government launched the Plan for an Emerging Senegal (PES) in 2014, which prioritised industrial development and enabled massive investment into projects across sectors like mining, oil and gas, electricity, infrastructure, and more.  

Despite administrative efforts, there remains a number of obstacles to rapid growth in the industry, including the high cost of electricity, the obsolescence of certain transport networks and infrastructure, the lack of financing for small companies and land resources, tax pressures, and much more.  

However, DCS has continued to rise above industry challenges by radically reshuffling the deck in the local market since its entry into production in 2015. For instance, the widespread use of high-quality 42.5R cement has democratised the sector in the African country. 

“This type of cement, previously reserved exclusively for the construction industry, is now available at an affordable price to all users in Senegal and the sub-region,” comments Mbaye.

Since speaking to the company in 2018, DCS has navigated a multitude of challenges as industry difficulties have had a trickle-down effect on the company, including the high cost of energy that its power plant is producing from imported hard coal.  

“Clearly, we are highly exposed to the volatility of raw material prices and to the vagaries likely to affect the global supply and logistics chains.  

“For example, the outbreak of the Russian-Ukraine conflict led to a surge in the price of coal, among other things. Therefore, due to extended power plant maintenance and coal shortages, the company went through a very difficult year in 2022,” recalls Mbaye.  

Yet, DCS has gone from strength to strength to become Senegal’s third integration cement production unit, with an annual production capacity of 1.6 million tonnes (t) of cement. 

For example, to solve difficulties surrounding the accessibility and usability of other energy sources other than coal, the organisation implemented a project that uses a variety of alternative fuels.

Meanwhile, the company’s industrial activity has a continuous and definite impact on the regional and national economy, as it emphasises the importance of local content at the heart of its sourcing strategy. 

“DCS is a major player in Senegal’s industrial fabric, employing over 1,000 people in total, either directly or indirectly,” highlights Mbaye.  

Additionally, the implementation of a three-year sustainable development strategy between 2020 and 2023, enacted by the Dangote Cement (DC) group, established a supply chain policy that gave priority to regional suppliers and contractors, as well as the local communities in which it operates.  

Consequently, between 2020 and 2022, nearly 40 billion West African CFA francs (XOF) were set aside for the purchase of products and services from local contractors, small companies, and subsidiaries of multinationals.

THE DANGOTE WAY

DCS pays particular attention to preserving the environment and the planet’s health, which is reflected by the implementation of a stringent environmental protection policy.  

Known as The Dangote Way, DCS’ green policy is aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).   

As part of the environmental programme, the construction of the plant’s industrial facilities is fully operationalised to minimise dust emissions. Furthermore, specialised vacuum cleaners collect dust before it is reinjected back into the production units, preventing dirt from being dispersed into the atmosphere.   

This technology is the first of its kind in Senegal and places the company on a pedestal for its sustainability efforts.  

Alongside its commitment to emission reduction goals, DCS also strives to improve its performance in energy efficiency, waste management, and water consumption by harnessing the opportunities of environmental stewardship and the circular economy business model.  

Another key element of its environmental agenda is the substitution of coal, a fossil fuel, with alternative energy sources including biomass, paper, plastic, waste tyres, solvent, wood, solid recovered fuels (SRFs), refuse-derived fuels (RDFs), and municipal solid waste.  

Regarding biomass production, the company utilised peanut and palm kernel shells, agricultural waste peanuts, sawdust, coffee husk, and more.  

Further projects to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions include the restricted consumption of clinker, whilst developing its production of solar energy.  

“This will uphold our operational sustainability pillar, which defines how we serve and satisfy our markets by working together with partners to deliver the best quality products and services to our valued customers,” asserts Mbaye.

A GENEROUS AND SUSTAINABLE APPROACH

DCS has further set itself apart in the sector by rigorously adhering to corporate social responsibility (CSR) criteria across all its actions.   

“Since 2007, well before it went into production in 2015, the company has been implementing a very dynamic and generous CSR policy that focuses on education, health, environmental preservation, water access, female empowerment, and more,” Mbaye concludes.  

To date, nearly two billion XOF has been allocated to various social investments which greatly benefit the local community.  

As DCS forecasts the upcoming year, its main priority is to increase production capacity with green cement and utilise alternative fuels to help reduce its carbon footprint, thus alleviating the company’s dependence on fossil fuels.

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By Joshua Mann Regional Director
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Joshua Mann is a Project Manager for Outlook Publishing. Joshua is responsible for showcasing corporate stories in our digital B2B magazines and Digital Platforms, and sourcing collaborations with Business Leaders, Brands, and C-suite Executives to feature in future editions. Joshua is actively seeking opportunities to collaborate. Reach out to Joshua to discover how you and your business could be our next cover story.