The planned shutdown of a cement production line by Holcim South Africa, at the end of the year was unlikely to affect supply in Gauteng, the group said yesterday. The disclosure by Holcim follows a warning that supply in the province "should tighten" as Holcim shuts down one of its kilns for three months.
Analysts says "this is worrying", as domestic demand for cement is still growing strongly, albeit at a slower pace, with the market having grown almost 11 per cent in the first half of the year. Holcim has apparently breached environmental limits, and that this prompted the temporary shutdown.
Holcim SA MD Karl Meissner-Roloff said yesterday that the kiln line -- one of two at Dudfield, near Lichtenburg -- would be shut down to bring it in line with environmental requirements by early next year. But the company had government’s permission to operate on old emission standards until then, he said, while the shutdown would only take place over the holidays, when building had slowed down. Holcim estimates it will have enough stockpiled cement by that time to prevent disrupting supplies.