Bamburi woos clients with site concrete tester

Real estate investors can now test the quality of concrete after Bamburi Cement introduced the country’s first mobile laboratory on Wednesday.

The van-driven lab will test quality and ratio of mixed sand, cement, ballast and water.

Poor mixing and quality of materials have been blamed for substandard building works, which have led to the collapse of a number of complete or incomplete homes or office blocks.

Bamburi, Kenya’s largest cement firm by market size, will conduct on-site tests for its customers free of charge across the country in what is termed an after-sale service.

“The tests will ensure use of quality construction materials for best results,” Bamburi managing director Bruno Pescheux said at the launch in Nairobi.

The launch is a boon to contractors in adhering to quality standards by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) and the National Construction Authority.

Collapse of buildings under construction has been a concern for the authorities.

This has come on the back a construction boom driven by infrastructure projects and real estate that has boosted demand for cement.

Bamburi’s net profit grew 85.9 per cent to S billion in the half-year to June on increased sales and aggressive cost-cutting.

But Bamburi has lost significant market shares to new entrants National Cement, makers of Simba brand, and to a larger scale Mombasa Cement who supply the Nyumba brand.

The Nairobi bourse listed firm bets on the testing kit to help it claw back lost market share in an environment where real estate investors are increasingly placing a premium on quality.

SOURCE: BUSINESS DAILY