One of the largest retreaders in Kenya, C G Retread (NRB) Ltd, has upgraded equipment at its twin sites in the Capital Nairobi and in the port city of Mombasa.
Plant Upgrades for CG Retread
The Nairobi unit is installed with monorail, tyre building machine, a refurbished autoclave along with new pressure piping system. “We have almost doubled the installed capacity at Mombasa, by adding a second 11-tyre chamber,” said Nitul Sennik, Director, C G Retread.
The oldest Nairobi site established way back in 1976 is now retreading an average of 1,100 tyres monthly, while the Mombasa plant opened in 1986 retreads 800 tyres each month.
CG Retread has been sourcing tread rubber from Malaysian tread brand Suntex for last six years. “We also source cushion gum from Elgi’s Nairobi site whenever required,” he said.
Though the Kenyan market is flooded with cheaper tread brands, CG prefers to stay with the premium Malaysian tread rubber. “We have a majority of corporate clients, and we really can’t compromise with the quality,” Nitul stressed.
On further expansion, he confided, “We have plans to expand on the Kisumu side with both conventional and precure systems, with a focus on retreading tractor, earth mover and truck tyres. While the OTR tyres would be retreaded by the hot process, the truck tyres would be manufactured using the precure system.”
He further explained, “The moulds for the hot process are laying with us, waiting for the economy to improve.”
On the subject of when the economy would likely bounce back, Nitul said; “The slowdown is a global phenomenon, but we are expecting a pick-up in the market in next year only.”
Long haulage trips have reduced in number, bringing fleets, which are largely controlled by Indian settlers, under operational pressure. When goods were cleared at Mombasa, trailers used to travel almost 1,000 km to and fro, bringing good tyre volumes to the retread sector. However, more recently the trips shortened to merely 40 kms as an Internal Container Depot (ICD) has been established in Nairobi impacting retread sector negatively.