Underground cables
The installation of the new equipment will boost the firm’s capacity to rollout a range of new products to meet specific customer needs.

Last week, Kenya-based East African Cables, the manufacturer of electrical wires and conductors for utility companies, announced that its chief executive officer, George Mwangi, will part ways with the company at the end of September.

On Thursday, the company’s board said that it endorsed the resignation of Mwangi at a meeting earlier in the week, ending his seven-year tenure at the firm, reported the Star.

Mwangi exits the company on the back of two consecutive years of declining profits.

The publicly traded cable manufacturer’s net profit slowed 14.33% to Sh341.15 million ($3.3 million) last year, while in 2013 the profits dropped 23.72% cent to Sh398.20 million ($3.88 million).

Cable manufacturing growth

In a statement to Nairobi Securities Exchange, the board said that Mwangi, who has been with the cable manufacturer for 16 years, had “played a central role in the growth and modernisation of the company.

“Mr Mwangi was also commended for his leadership of the business over the last seven years which has seen the company more than triple the capacity of its operation,” the statement said.

Modernising the cable plant

As part of the firm’s corporate growth strategy, East African Cables, has completed refurbishment and upgrade works at its Kitui Road Copper Production plant.

The refurbishment and upgrade works, valued at more than Sh1 billion ($9.78 million), involved the construction of a new factory building and installation of modern cable and conductors manufacturing equipment.

According to a company statement, the new East African Cables copper factory affords the company an opportunity and capacity to supply the east and central African regions, with’ safe and reliable electrical cables’.

Cable manufacturing capacity

Speaking on the refurbishment of the Kitui Road plant, Mwangi disclosed that the facility has almost tripled the firm’s copper cables and conductors’ manufacturing capacity.

With a 5.5% growth in the building and construction sector, as noted in the company’s 2014 economic survey, Mwangi stated the company is now well positioned to service the local and regional market demand for electrical cables.

Mwangi said: “Until last year, the copper plant has had capacity constraints, although we had invested in a higher capacity for the drawing machine (the first step in cable making), the rest of the processes had bottlenecks that limited our potential to engage in efficient production.”

Bottlenecks and inefficiencies

“However, with the recent upgrade works that commenced in December 2013, we have now managed to significantly address the production bottlenecks and inefficiencies to meet regional demand.”

The installation of the new equipment will also boost the firm’s capacity to roll-out a range of new products to meet specific customer needs.

He added: “The refurbishment of this factory is a key project for East African Cables, seeing that increased volumes will see the company become more competitive both on the production and price front, while maintaining high quality standards.

“The new factory is now at par with the best cable factories in the world, and will have the largest capacity in East and Central Africa.”



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Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl has been working in the African power, energy and water sectors since 2011, first with African Utility Week and now as the Editor of ESI Africa. She is also an Advisory Board member of the Global and African Power & Energy Elites publications. With her passion for sustainable business and placing African countries on the international stage, Nicolette takes a keen interest in current affairs and technology trends.