High Cost of Building Materials Halts Construction Projects

The price of key construction materials has gone up in the past few months raising concerns among construction managers over...

High Cost of Building Materials Halts Construction Projects

The price of key construction materials such as steel and cement has gone up in the past few months. This raises concerns among the construction managers over the additional building cost that they will have to incur.

This comes at a time when the sector is yet to recover from the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The shortage which is linked to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War has made some contractors put their projects on hold because they are now digging deeper into their pockets to purchase some of the key materials which are necessary for construction.

The prices of the supplies have gone up by 80 percent in less than six months in different stores across the country. In one store, the price of steel bars was; D8- Ksh.450, D10-Ksh 600, D-12, Ksh. 900, D 16-Ksh1050, D 20 Ksh-2500 in January, they now cost; D8-Sh.780, D10 Ksh.1, 150 D12-Ksh.1, 650 D16-Ksh-2,750 and D20 Ksh.4, 850

In another store, nails are now costing Ksh.200 from Ksh.140 per Kilogram, a bag of cement has risen from KSh.600 and is now going for Ksh.800 and Ksh. 1,000 depending on the brand.

The binding wire which is used in tying bars at the joints has also increased from Sh.3, 000 to 3, 600, the price of BRC wire mesh which is used to reinforce concrete at the floor level has also gone up.

This shortage has been linked to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Russia is the world’s fourth-largest steel exporter and it serves over 150 countries. This war has resulted in a limit on the supply of coal which cement producers use in the production of clinker.

Earlier, cement manufacturers had cited the high cost of electricity as a major concern, but the government recently reduced the cost of power by 15 percent, and manufacturers are also being given a 50 percent discount on the cost of power which is consumed in the off-peak of 10pm to 6 am upon meeting certain conditions.

The ban on scrap metal by the government could also be a reason for the rising cost of steel since local millers use scrap metal to produce steel.

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