Zambezi Portland Cement Limited (ZPCL) will not meet its projected target of commencing preliminary cement production next month.
ZPCL has invested a total of US$50m in the construction of the cement plant in Ndola.
ZPCL managing director, Antonio Ventriglia attributed the delay to the marooned electrical cables imported from India that are at South African and Tanzanian ports of Durban and Dar-es-Salaam respectively. Mr Ventriglia said in an interview that the electrical cables were ordered in March last year but only arrived at the ports this year.
“ Right now we cannot state when we will commence our initial production of cement until we receive the electrical cables from Durban and Dares Salaam,” he said.
Mr Ventriglia said he would be in position to state the exact period when the production activities would commence by the end of this month.
On completion the company will be able to produce a total of 1,000 tonnes in the trial stages to last for four months before major production commences. Mr Ventriglia alleged that the two ports were congested with imported goods in containers citing Dar-es-Salaam as the most crowded port.
President Mwanawasa laid the foundation stone of the company on August 15, 2006. The company would create 400 jobs once the plant starts cement production.