Kenyan multimillionaire businessman Narendra Raval has invested $16.7 million (Ksh1.8 billion) to upgrade the fertilizer division of a plant he acquired from Athi River Mining (ARM) Cement in 2019. The fertilizer unit is only one arm of ARM Cement. Other units include cement, chemical and industrial minerals production.
“The total cost of investment in this project is Ksh1.8 billion ($16.7 million),” Business Daily quoted Raval as saying. “The money will go into buying new machinery and upgrading the plant to new standards.” With the investment, Raval plans to scale up the plant’s capacity to 300,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer annually.
The steel tycoon invested $50 million in 2019 to buy the struggling Nairobi-based cement company, making him the controlling shareholder. After the acquisition, ARM Cement became Maisha Mineral Fertilizer Ltd.
The fertilizer plant, which has been under construction for some months, sits on 11 acres in Athi River in Machakos County. It plans to launch production in the coming months.
“We have been constructing the new plant for the last one year. We expect to open in the next two months. By then, the plant should be 100 percent operational,” Raval said. The plant will process fertilizers tailored to the market’s agricultural needs, including Mavuno Planting, Mavuno vegetables and Mavuno top dressing.
Raval is the founder of Devki Group, a Kenya-based steel and cement manufacturing company. A few days ago, he joined eight other investors to bid for a lease to revive the Mumias Sugar milling factory, a financially distressed sugar company in Kenya. According to the businessman, his “main objective will be to revive the factory and give back the livelihood to over a million people who relied on the firm.”