PPC Botswana will invest R6.5m in expanding its Gabarone facilities as demand for cement in Botswana continues to rise. The expansion project includes the installation of state-of-the-art palletising equipment, and construction of a new warehouse at the Gaborone depot.
“Demand for PPC’s general all purpose cement Botcem, a brand manufactured exclusively in Botswana, has soared from a few hundred tons a month when we opened the Gaborone depot in 1996 to more than 20,000 tons a month currently,” says PPC’s chief executive officer, John Gomersall.
“Our customers’ processes have also become largely automated in recent years allowing for larger volumes of product to be handled. Palletised product now accounts for more the 90% of Botcem sales,” adds Gomersall.
The palletised cement at the Gaborone depot is currently stacked by hand. The installation of an automatic palletising machine will significantly improve operational efficiencies and customer service.
The mechanised process will increase levels of stock ready for loading and radically improve the turnaround time in loading customer vehicles, cutting the average waiting time down by at least 60%.
“PPC has been selling cement in Botswana for more than five decades. During this time we have seen strong growth in the Botswana market and have steadily increased our investment in the country to include the opening of the Gaborone depot and cement milling and blending plant more than a decade ago.
“This latest investment in the introduction of new technology is confirmation that we remain extremely confident in the long-term growth of the Botswana economy,” adds Gomersall.
PPC expects completion of the project by mid-2008.