Dangote Cement to Enter 14th African Country with Tanzanian Power Plant
Dangote Cement is looking to broaden its horizons even further as it seeks a license for a 75 megawatt (MW) power plant in Tanzania.
The Nigerian company has built up a sizeable footprint across Africa in recent years, but East Africa’s second biggest economy is so far untouched by the continent’s wealthiest man, and his premier organisation.
The license will enable Dangote Cememt to build a 75MW coal-fired plant in the country, able to power a $500 million cement factory which is also now under construction.
Alhough beginning in Nigeria, in the west of Africa, Dangote Cement is the leading concrete producer in the SADC region, so a migration into more eastern markets should come as no surprise, especially given the pending unveiling plans for the company to roll out enough plants in Africa to reach an annual capacity of 62 million tonnes by 2017.
This would represent a 15 million increase in tonnage on current levels, but the plan does come amid ongoing power shortages and economic slow-downs in some key regions.
"Dangote Industries ... applied for a 75 MW electricity generation licence to build, own and operate a coal-based captive power plant adjacent to its cement manufacturing plant," the state-run Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) said in a statement.
All the electricity would be "used to run the plant and machinery for the manufacture of cement, utilities and housing colony", EWURA added. "Any interruption in power supply or unstable voltage/frequency causes extensive damage to the refractory and also to the rotary kiln parts.
“Refractory failures cause production shutdowns varying from 15 to 30 days and unscheduled use of costly imported refractory bricks.”
Dangote Cement hopes to commission the factory currently under construction in Tanzania, in the second half of 2015, taking the number of African countries it currently operates in to 14.
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”