PPC Zimbabwe's capacity to rise to 1.5Mta in 2016

PPC Zimbabwe's capacity to rise to 1.5Mta in 2016
Published: 04 September 2015


Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) plans to expand its cement capacity to 1.5Mta from the current 1.1Mta, following the completion of the company's new Msasa cement plant next year.

The US$86m Msasa plant is expected to be commissioned in September 2016. The group expects to invest a total US$$200m on the 0.7Mta Msasa plant when the company finalises the entire project. The firm is still looking for a reliable source of limestone for the second phase of the project which entails establishment of a clinker plant.

Meanwhile, PPC managing director, Njambo Lekula, said the company will retire two production units at its old Bulawayo plant as the units are inefficient and costly to run.

"We hope to boost our production capacity to 1.5Mta from the current 1.1Mta once we have completed our Msasa plant. Although the new plant will boost production by 700,000t, we will take out two units at the Bulawayo plant. The units are inefficient and costly to run as they produce less than the other units."
Lekula said the company's exports have declined significantly in the past year owing to improved capacities in neighbouring countries.

"Improved capacities and the unfavourable exchange rate have seen us losing significant ground on our exports to neighbouring countries. As a result, our exports are quite low and we do not expect them to grow in the near future. However, we hope that we will start seeing some growth in this segment next year.

"We are therefore building the plant for domestic consumers. Cement does not travel that well, the moment you take it across the border, the cost of logistics goes up," he said.