Industrialisation CS Launches Ksh600M Production Line for Maintenance-Free Car Batteries

Industrialisation CS Adan Mohamed. (PIX: Courtesy).

NAIROBI, FEBRUARY 17, 2015 — The Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization and Enterprise Development, Adan Mohammed has today launched the very first locally manufactured maintenance-free car batteries in Kenya and the East African Region.

This world-class battery is manufactured by Associated Battery Manufacturers (ABM) and will now be available throughout the East, Central and Southern Africa region.

Speaking during the launch of the KSh600 million production line, Mr Mohamed commended ABM for its investment in new technologies and equipment into the country.

“This is an encouraging sign of the confidence and commitment that investors have in Government’s policies in place. As a government, we remain committed to maintaining an environment that is conducive for investment and supporting growth. This will provide them with a platform to create more employment opportunities for our youth,” the CS added.

According to the Economic Survey 2014, the total number of newly registered motor vehicles in Kenya rose by 21.7 per cent to 94,017 units in 2013 up from 77,229 units recorded in 2012. This increase is consistent to the growing middle class and the same is true in the larger EAC and COMESA markets.

The unique business model adopted by Associated Battery Manufacturers is that the production of these maintenance-free car batteries use Lead as its key raw material. This is mainly sourced locally from old scrap batteries. These old batteries are recycled through a complex process to obtain pure Lead for the battery making process.

Mr Mohamed said that in order to facilitate growth of the Lead battery manufacturing sector, the Government has been collaborating with sector players to ensure that the country has adequate feedstock of scrap batteries and are not exported to the international market.

The Government is also spearheading amendment to the 3rd schedule of the East Africa Community’s, Customs Management Act, which has placed a restriction on the exportation of used Automobile Batteries, Lead Scrap, Crude and Refined Lead throughout of the EAC Region.

Further, to embed this Government support in Law, the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development has initiated and spearheaded the enactment of the new Scrap Metal Act, 2014 which became Law in January 2015. The new Law will not only provide a framework for an increase in the availability of local raw materials but also improve traceability of these scrap materials through an industry lead mechanism.