Press Releases

IFC Investment in Senegal’s Sococim Industries Supports Growth of Manufacturing, Higher Environmental Standards

In Johannesburg
Houtan Bassiri
Phone:  + (27) 11 731-3179

In Washington, DC
Carmen Powell
Phone: + 1 (202) 473-4982

Dakar/Washington, March 15th, 2007—IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is providing a loan of up to 20 million euros to Sococim Industries to help meet the growing demand for cement in Senegal and significantly raise the company’s environmental standards.

Sococim will use the funds to install a new state-of-the-art environmentally friendly cement production line with a capacity to produce 3,500 metric tons of clinker per day. The company will also build a new 24-megawatt power plant, easing pressure on Senegal’s national grid, and build Africa’s first vertical cement mill to increase energy efficiency.

“IFC is committed to helping its clients improve their performance and meet global environmental standards,” said Thierry Tanoh, IFC’s Director for Sub-Saharan Africa. “IFC applies rigorous standards to all its activities to ensure that economic development is accompanied by environmental protection and social improvements.”

Dimitris Tsitsiragos, Director of IFC’s Global Manufacturing and Services Department added, “Our investment is part of a larger IFC financing package, which also used a significant portion of the proceeds of a local currency bond issued by IFC in December 2006.  Through this financing, Sococim can efficiently limit its foreign currency exposure in this project.”

By increasing its production, Sococim will be able to meet the growing demand for cement in local and nearby export markets at a competitive cost. The company will also be able to generate further local employment, particularly during the construction and upgrade of its facilities.

“This project will help us improve our operational and environmental performance and thus help us maintain our leadership position in the Senegalese market while continuing to contribute to the country’s economic development,” said Marc Leising, Sococim’s Managing Director.

About IFC

IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.  IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06, IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion in funding for private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure, to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance, and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information, please visit

About Sococim

Sococim Industries, which operates the largest cement plant in West Africa, was established in 1946 and is well known to Senegalese and Malian customers. It is the eighth-largest company in Senegal and has participated for more than 60 years in the development of the local and national economy. It offers customers a range of cements from pure Portland to slag cement and seeks to match the newest market requirements with a high-quality standard. Sococim’s plant is reaching a cement capacity of 2 millions tons, which will expand to 3 millions tons when the current investment program has been completed by mid-2009. In 1999, Sococim Industries became a subsidiary of the International Group VICAT, a leading company in the building materials sector that is listed on the French stock exchange. With a turnover of more than 2 billion euros in 2006, the VICAT Group is based in France and also has operations in Egypt, Italy, Mali, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States.