The failure of a raw mill gearbox has halted production at the Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) plant at Colleen Bawn near Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
John Gomersall, PPC’s chief executive, confirmed the gearbox failure yesterday but stressed that people were working on it.
Porthold Zimbabwe, which was acquired by PPC, has been helping to meet the high demand for cement in South Africa, with Surebuild cement imported from both Zimbabwe and overseas. Gomersall said PPC’s Zimbabwean operations were committed to supplying the export market, which earned foreign exchange.
Gomersall said the disruption at the Colleen Bawn plant would not have any impact on PPC’s financial results, because it did not consolidate the results from its Zimbabwean operation.
PPC said in May, when it released its interim results, that operating and trading conditions remained very difficult in Zimbabwe, with the country experiencing increasing hyperinflation. – Roy Cokayne, Pretoria