By Tata Mbunwe
Cameroon’s Prime Minister, Joseph Dion Ngute, inaugurated two state-of-the-art factories for the production of iron rods and gas bottles in the economic capital Douala on Friday, January 19.
These factories, named Prometal 4 and Prometal 5, are owned by Prometal Group, a leading steel producer in Central Africa based in the Bassa industrial zone in Douala.
Prometal 4, the more prominent of the two, boasts a production capacity of 300,000 tons of iron rods yearly.
Costing FCFA 45 billion, it stands out as one of the most modern and diversified steel transformation plant in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The facility is set to manufacture various steel products, including beams, angle irons, smooth bars, screws, flat bars, and wire rods – serving as intermediate products for nail production.
On the other hand, Prometal 5, the fifth production plant of the Prometal Group, represents an investment of FCFA 12 billion.
This factory will produce 600,000 gas bottles and 5,000 metric tonnes of iron annually.
The combined investment in both factories exceeds FCFA 57 billion, according to official sources.
One of the remarkable features of Prometal 5 is its potential to address Cameroon’s reliance on gas bottle imports.
Currently, the country imports 450,000 to 500,000 domestic gas bottles annually, incurring a cost of about FCFA 8 billion.
The inauguration of Prometal 5 marks a turning point, reducing dependence on imports and positioning Cameroon as a potential exporter of up to 100,000 domestic gas bottles per year.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by government officials, industry leaders, and other stakeholders.
The Prime Minister emphasized the significance of these factories in promoting economic growth, providing employment opportunities, and enhancing local production capacities.
Estimates suggest that the two factories will create approximately 3,000 new jobs, including 1,000 direct employment opportunities.
This development aligns with Cameroon’s broader efforts to strengthen its industrial base, stimulate economic activity, and reduce dependence on imports in critical sectors.