Caterpillar and Komatsu preference for Kenyan start-up plant hire company
Sukim Enterprise currently runs a Caterpillar 140G grader.
Despite its small size, Sukim Enterprise, a start-up plant hire company based in Nairobi, Kenya, has ambitious plans to grow its business, especially on the back of the promising road construction sector in the country.
“We are still a small company but we are working hard to develop ourselves,” John Muiruri, manager and operator at Sukim Enterprise. With a special focus on road construction projects, Sukim Enterprise is currently running a Caterpillar 140G grader and a Bomag roller.
As the company grows, Muiruri tells Equipment Africa that it will only prefer running Caterpillar and Komatsu gear because of the reliability of machines and availability of spare parts. He understands the importance of plant availability, especially in the plant hire business where any form downtime is out of question. He notes that the company keeps its gear in good running condition, especially considering the stiff competition in the country.
Speaking of the plant hire sector in Kenya, Muiruri says the market is “very good”. “We hire our machines to county governments across Kenya, as well as private developers,” he says.
Road construction is the major driver of business for the company. This comes on the back of Kenya’s recent launch of a new financing model, which forms part of a new strategy for the East African country. Under the new scheme, Kenya is planning to upgrade 10 000km of road to asphalt standard in the next five years at a cost of USD2,8-billion.
Despite the country grappling with a backlog of road maintenance works requiring USD4,3-billion, the Kenyan Government has moved ahead with the new plan, called the Annuity financing programme. This will nearly double the number of Kenya’s asphalt surfaced roads from the current 14 000km, an equivalent of 8,8% of the 161 451km of classified roads, to 24 000km by the end of 2017.
Under the Annuity Programme, the country aims to complete 3 000km of road in 2015/2016 financial year, made up of 80% small roads and 20% highways. This will be followed by 5 000km, 80% of which will be small roads and 20% highways, in the 2016/2017 financial year.
Equipment Africa says: Kenya is a good hunting ground for plant-hire companies seeking quick growth at this stage, especially considering the hive of road construction activity. To make the most of the opportunity, running premium gear with very good availability and readily available spare parts is of utmost significance. Despite its small size, Sukim Enterprise has a recipe for success in this business sector.