By NBF News

By Emma Ujah
The Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc, CCNN, has spent N7, 515million to upgrade its existing production facilities and the expansion of production lines.

The Managing Director, Mr. Alf Karlsen disclosed this while conducting round the company, a team of journalists who were on a post-privatisation inspection of the company at the weekend.

He said that the upgrading was in progress towards which a new girth gear for one of the cement mills had been ordered at the cost of N110million while another roto packer has been ordered at a cost of N225million. The installation, he said, will take place in the third quarter of 2011.

According to the MD, the plan is to increase production from 329,000metric tonnes in 2010 to 600,000 metric tonnes per annum in the next few years.

Mr. Karlsen disclosed that the board and management of the company planned to seek the authorisation of its shareholders to raise N45 billion through a combination of convertible debenture (by way of rights), a rights issue and a public offer to finance a new one million clinker production line. He said if approved at the Annual General Meeting slated for July in Abuja, the production line to be built from the resources would be commissioned in 2014.

The company's boss noted that the expansion was being undertaken in order to ensure that CCNN, which was fully privatised in 2000, remained a competitive cement manufacturer in the country.