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Dangote Cement Reopens Nigeria’s Gboko Plant as Demand Rises

Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Dangote Cement Plc, Nigeria’s biggest company by market capitalization, reopened its Gboko plant in the central region of the country as demand increases for the building material.

“We are reopening Gboko immediately,” Carl Franklin, the London-based head of investor relations, said in an e-mailed statement today. “Demand has been strong since the beginning of the year.”

Dangote, Africa’s biggest producer of cement and owned by billionaire Chairman Aliko Dangote, closed the plant last month because cheap, imported cement was being sold in the area served by the unit.

The company, based in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, forecast in August it will more than double total output to 51 million metric tons by 2015 as it expands Nigerian production.

“The plant is the smallest of the group’s, accounting for 15 percent of its locally installed capacity,” Tomi Benn-Gii, a Lagos-based analyst at Stanbic IBTC Holding Co., wrote in a note to clients today. “This occurrence is in line with our expectations of a short-term shutdown of the Gboko plant.”

Dangote’s shares jumped 3.6 percent to 144.87 naira at the 2:30 p.m. close in Lagos. The stock has advanced 13 percent this year, compared with the 15 percent rise of the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Kay in Abuja at ckay5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vernon Wessels at vwessels@bloomberg.net

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