The Zambian government should come up with incentives to encourage more companies to start cement manufacturing as a way to meet an increasing demand for the commodity, an official has said.
There was need to encourage competition in the cement market to ensure stability in both supply and the price of the commodity in the long term, Private Sector Development Association Chairperson Yusuf Dodia was cited by Friday’s Times of Zambia as saying.
Dodia said the Zambian government must encourage more investment from the private sector into the cement market rather than depending too much on Chilanga Cement PLC, the country’s sole cement producer owned by France’s Lafarge Group.
Cement price has skyrocketed since late last year to as high as 50,000 kwacha (US12.5 per 50kg bag from the original 37,000 kwacha (US$9.25). The increased demand spurred by booming mining and construction industries was cited as the reason for the movement in cement price.
The Zambian government lifted restrictions on the importation of cement to cater for the market demand late last year.
Meanwhile, Chilanga Cement PLC invested US$120m to build a new plant which will be operational in June 2008.