PPC commissions $85mln cement plant, targets exports

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HARARE: PPC Zimbabwe says it expects to increase exports into the region after commissioning a $85 million plant in Harare which will double the firm’s cement production capacity to 1.4 million tonnes per year.
Apart from PPC Zimbabwe’s cement industry comprises of two other players, Larfarge Zimbabwe and Sino-Zim with installed capacity of 450,000 tonnes and 250,000 tonnes respectively.
The country’s demand for cement for the year is estimated at 1,17 million tonnes.
“At the moment we are exporting very little into Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique but it is nothing really to write home about,” said PPC managing director, Kelibone Masiyane on Friday during a tour of the new plant.
“We have to intensify our efforts to try capture that market but already we are at a disadvantage because the manufacturing cost in Zimbabwe is pretty high. So to compete in those markets will be pretty difficult but we are looking at the benefits that will come from this increased capacity,” he said.  
PPC has two other plants in Zimbabwe, in Bulawayo and Colleen Bawn near Gwanda with production capacity of 700,000 tonnes  annually.
“The market might be depressed at the moment but this investment it is strategic.  We understand that currently the economy is in turmoil but we have a long range view for Zimbabwe we have confidence that it will take a turn.  
Apart from South Africa and Zimbabwe, PPC also has units in Botswana, Ethiopia, Rwanda.Advertisement