The Prime Minister of Cape Verde, Ulisses Correia e Silva, today classified the announcement of an investment of 48 million euros by Portuguese cement company Cimpor in the archipelago as “good news”, with a focus on pozzolana.
Cape Verde waiting for
“If you’re going to invest, it’s good news. We have a process in preparation that has to do with taking advantage of the management of the pozzolana, but I still don’t have details on Cimpor’s investment,” said the Cape Verdean government chief, asked by Lusa on the sidelines of an official event, today, in Praia.
Cimpor presented to the Cape Verdean Government an investment plan of 5,500 million escudos (48 million euros) to “strengthen the strategic partnership” that it has been developing in the archipelago for 17 years, the Portuguese cement company announced today.
In a statement sent to the Lusa agency, Cimpor says that this investment plan includes a proposal to obtain the concession for the exploration of pozzolans on the island of Santo Antão, but also the management and port concession as well as the production of renewable energy.
For the Portuguese cement company, “this is a crucial investment for the development of its activity”, as well as “for the growth of the local economy”.
Cited in the statement, the executive director of Cimpor Portugal and Cape Verde, Luís Fernandes, says that the granting of the concession license for the exploration of pozzolans on the island of Santo Antão is a “vital investment for the growth strategy” of Portuguese cement in the archipelago.
“Cimpor is developing in all the geographies where it operates a policy of accelerated reduction of CO2 emissions associated with cement. The use of pozzolans, among other raw materials, in cement production is one of the fundamental measures to obtain of the intended objectives”, he said.
According to the director of Cimpor in Cape Verde, João Brito e Cunha, these investments follow “the reinforcement of the commitment” of the company in the country, “namely in new areas of the Cape Verdean economy”.
“We also showed interest in diversifying investments, both in management and in the port concession, and in the production of renewable energy”, said the administrator.
Present in Cape Verde since 2005, Cimpor claims to be a leader in the cement, glue cement and steel market, and assumes the production of concrete and aggregates as a priority, having invested more than six million euros in the installation of two new plants crushing plant and two new concrete plants on the islands of Santiago and Sal.
Cimpor is currently owned by one of the main economic groups in Turkey (Oyak) and already after this acquisition, the president of Oyak Cimento, Suat Çalbiyik, met, in February 2020, in Praia, with the Cape Verdean prime minister. Verdean, Ulisses Correia da Silva, having conveyed the company’s interest in diversifying its investments and business in Cape Verde.
At that time, the Cape Verdean Government announced the interest of the Turkish fund Oyak in investing in Cape Verde, in the extraction of pozzolana, rocks of volcanic origin used in the cement industry.
“We are addressing the interest in exploring the Santo Antão pozzolana and other business areas”, said a note released at the time by the office of Ulisses Correia e Silva.
The extraction of pozzolan in Porto Novo, Santo Antão island, dates back to the colonial period, but has been paralyzed for more than six years.
In 2005, the company Cabocem, owned by Italian investors, was installed there to produce pozzolanic cement, but it ended up closing in June 2013.
Local authorities estimate that there are deposits in that area of around ten million tons of pozzolan. The Week with Lusa/Image: Archive and City Council photos.