A Chinese heavy machinery manufacturer plans to invest Sh30 billion to set up an assembly plant in Kenya which if successful will become its seventh factory outside China.
The multinational company, Sany, is currently setting up a heavy equipment assembly plant in Ethiopia, one of Kenya’s biggest economic rivals in the region. Several manufacturers and companies have relocated to Ethiopia in the last four years, following increased incentives to woo investments.
Sany said the investment will create thousands of jobs and greatly improve the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
The company, one of the largest heavy equipment manufacturers in China and the fifth biggest in the world, also eyes the green energy sector, and will look into prospects of partnering with other investors to set up a wind power plant locally, it said.
“We want to invest in Kenya, just as we want to invest in Africa. As long as we have good partners and good policies and regulations from the government, I don’t see any problem in us investing here,” said Sany Africa general manager Li Lei.
He said the relationship between China and African countries keeps on growing stronger leading to a conducive environment for major investments.
“Nowadays, we have two funds in China – China Africa Fund and China Africa Production Capacity Fund. We want to assemble in Africa. Each of these funds is $10 billion (about Sh1 trillion),” said Lei.
The company’s officials have already held meetings with the Chinese economic consular in Kenya to discuss the plan to set up an assembly plant.
Sany makes forklifts, cranes and other port machinery, excavators and drilling rigs among many other products. Aside from China and Ethiopia, it also has assembly plants in the US, India, Brazil and Germany.
Lei was speaking at Whitesands Hotel in Mombasa on Wednesday evening during a promotion ceremony for Sany products in the country. Sany has so far sold 600 machines including forklifts, Ritcht Stackers and other port and roadwork machinery in Kenya, since it ventured into the country in 2006.