China Wu Yi pours big cash into Kenya real estate

Wall panels installation
Workers build a house. China Wu Yi has become a major player in the local construction industry. PHOTO/FILE
China Wu Yi will spend Sh3.8 billion to build a construction factory in Nairobi in a move that will further boost its growing influence in the Kenyan real estate sector.

The board of directors of the Chinese construction firm recently said that it had sanctioned a resolution that would see its local subsidiary China Wu Yi (Kenya) Ltd investing Sh3.8 billion (250 million yuan) in the proposed factory.

“The investment has been signed out to the Kenya subsidiary China Wu Yi (Kenya) Ltd in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi across the building and construction industry,” China Wu Yi said in a statement.

The proposed factory will cover 177 acres with total investment of about Sh3.8 billion, the company said.

The factory will be financed by Chinese banks and will involve construction of an industrial base for research, production and promotion of prefabricated materials.

China Wu Yi has become a major player in the local construction industry, where it supervises billions of shillings worth of mega projects in shopping malls and road construction.

Last year, the firm won four local tenders worth Sh10 billion – one of them being the construction of a 48,000-sq metre mixed-use development in Meru.

The Chinese firm is following in the footsteps of its compatriots Boleyn Magic Wall Panel Ltd and Blue Sky International, which have recently launched operations in Kenya to meet rising demand for ‘low cost’ building materials.

Boleyn Magic Wall Panel Ltd, which runs a Sh3 billion precast concrete plant in Kitengela, is already positioning itself as a major supplier of wall panels, hollow-core flooring slabs, columns and pressurised beams in the country.

The company recently announced plans to build a precast concrete factory in Kisii to ease supply of its materials to western Kenya builders.

On the other hand, Blue Sky International, which specialises in low-cost building solutions, is building a Sh1 billion prefabricated panels plant in Athi River, Machakos County. The firm intends to manufacture prefab panels for commercial, industrial and high rise apartments.

The factories come in the wake of increased demand for prefabs, which are billed as a faster and cheaper mode of construction with the potential to lower costs by up to 30 per cent.