PPC opens new cement plant in Zimbabwe

15 November 2016

JSE-listed cement and lime producer PPC on Friday opened its $85m milling plant in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare. Speaking at the commissioning of the plant, PPC chief executive Darryll Castle said the investment in the milling plant shows the company is committed to continue operating in Zimbabwe. 

“Investment in this plant is a reflection of our confidence in the Zimbabwean market,” said Castle. He added that the ultramodern milling plant is part of a bigger plan to develop a fully integrated plant over time.  However, he said: “Cheap imports can result in job losses, underutilisation of capacity and also affects return on investment,” he said. He thanked the Zimbabwean government for protecting the cement industry from cheap imports, noting that this will further future growth. 

The new plant, which has the capacity to mill 700 000 tonnes of cement, includes a shrink-wrap machine as well as a palletiser machine which can pack 40 cement bags per minute. The milling plant brings PPC Zimbabwe’s milling capacity to 1.8 million tonnes. Meanwhile, Castle said PPC’s expansion into Africa resulted in the commissioning of a new plant in Rwanda in August, with further plants scheduled to be commissioned in the Democratic Republic of Congo in January next year.  “As a group our vision is to become a major player in Africa and then globally,” he said.

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