Lafarge Zimbabwe is currently looking for a suitable location for a new US$250m cement plant in the country. Feasibility reports will be carried out in areas with large limestone deposits.
Chief executive, Amal Tantawi, said: "We have so far identified one limestone deposit to help feed the plant and the company continues to look for more deposits. Feasibility studies are being conducted on the long-term projects and we hope this will see our business growing in the future," said Mrs Tantawi. "The total investment cost required to set up the plant is usually about US$250-300m which is a rough estimate because at the moment we don't know what the land looks like, the type of equipment required, the availability of the limestone and its chemical composition."
A team of technical experts is expected in the country in September this year as the company is focussing on expanding its capacity, reported The Herald Business. The construction of a new plant will include the import of state-of-the-art technology, helping the country to meet rising cement demand both within and outside of its borders.
When the feasibility study is completed, it will be submitted to the group for approval. When the limestone, plant location and all regulatory procedures are completed, Mrs Tantawi expects funds would be released to build the new works.
Meanwhile, Lafarge is expected to increase production to 0.5Mta once current plant upgrade is complete. The company is currently operating at about 70 per cent capacity utilisation, producing 0.37Mta of cement. It has spent about US$5m on plant refurbishments over the past five years and the focus has now shifted to improving the capacity of the existing plant.