South African cement manufacturer AfriSam said on Friday that it is to resume planning for an integrated cement plant in the Saldanha region on the Cape West Coast, to avoid shortages in upcoming years.
AfriSam CEO, Stephan Olivier noted that per capita cement consumption in the Western Cape was relatively low.
“With continued population growth and the need for housing and infrastructure, there are indications that the local market will benefit from the presence of an additional cement supplier.
“Given that we have a large limestone deposit in the Saldanha area and considering our desire to improve our market penetration in the Western Cape, we intend to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed expansion of our local quarrying activities and the construction of a state-of-the-art cement manufacturing plant close to the Saldanha port.”
Olivier said that an EIA had been conducted in 1997 for a similar project, inclusive of appropriate land rezoning, but the project had for various reasons been put on hold at the time. AfriSam said it would now be starting on a new EIA to take into account new legislation and a phased approach to the proposed development. The project would start with the expansion of the limestone quarry and construction of a cement milling and packing plant at a cost of about ZAR600m, in the industrial area close to the Saldanha port.
Clinker would initially be imported from AfriSam’s cement plant in the Northern Cape for intergrinding with local limestone.
In due course, a fully-fledged cement manufacturing plant would be built alongside the cement mill and packing plant at a further cost of about ZAR1.6bn, AfriSam said.
Olivier added that the proximity of the deep water port would facilitate exports and meant that AfriSam could scale up the plant to achieve the environmental and production efficiencies associated with large international plants.