PPC seeks to develop fully integrated plant in Harare after commissioning $85m Mill
HARARE – PPC Zimbabwe commissioned its $85 million milling Harare plant today, which will see combined annual production capacity rising to 1.4 million tonnes.
The plant, constructed mainly by Chinese contractors as part of the financing package, will do 700 000 tonnes per annum which together with the Bulawayo plants will bring capacity to 1.4 million. The output, according to managing director Kelibone Masiyane is enough to service both the local and export markets.
Masiyane said the new Msasa plant provides a strategic and good reach to Mashonaland and this would see significant gains on cost savings from transportation costs.
“The Msasa Mill is part of a bigger plan to develop a fully integrated plant in Harare in time. We acknowledge that the plant brings extra capacity that the local market will not be able to consume hence we are looking at opportunities in the region.”
The target export markets are Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, but the overall high manufacturing cost base in Zimbabwe will affect price competitiveness in the region.
“But we will continue to capitalise on plant efficiencies and cost savings on transportation since Harare is more centrally located for our targeted markets compared to Bulawayo,” he said.
According to the MD, the company has also introduced a palletised packaging system and a plastic cover wrapping machine. The palletiser packs 40 bags of cement onto a pallet in a neat unit and Masiyane said this would improve output as well as the turnaround time for customers.
PPC Limited Group CEO Darryll Castle said the South African cement giant remains committed to growing in Zimbabwe and the $85 million plant is a reflection of the confidence it has in the economy.
“Fair competition in the industry allows for companies like us to continue investing in the local economy and we thank the Zimbabwean government for protecting the cement markets from imports being dumped in the Zimbabwean market,” he said.
He said the 700 000 tons per annum plant boasts some of the latest technology in the cement industry.
Castle said the group recognises that Africa presents a unique growth opportunity and as part of the expansion strategy the group recently extended its reach to Rwanda where it launched a 600 000 tpa plant in August 2015 and have projects underway in DRC and Ethiopia which are to be launched in the first half of 2017.
PPC MD international Njombo Lekula said the Msasa project which started in 2013 was based on the Group’s sentiment on the future of Zimbabwe’s economy.