Displaying items by tag: Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe: China’s Livetouch Investments has started production at its 0.4Mt/yr cement grinding plant at Redcliff. Managing director and co-shareholder Dongning Wang said that the US$30m plant had started operation at 70% of its capacity, according to the Herald Business newspaper. The plant is expected to employ 200 workers once it is fully operational. The company markets its cement under the Diamond Masonry brand.
Although some work remains on the first phase of the project the second phase will see the construction of a clinker producing plant at the same site. The company is negotiating at present with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development for access to limestone deposits. Work on the second phase is expected to start six to nine months after the mineral rights are secured.
Zimbabwe: PPC Zimbabwe’s managing director Kelibone Masiyane has said that duty on cement imports has done little to discourage the market. The government introduced a 25% duty on every 100t of imported cement in 2016, according to the NewsDay newspaper. He singled out imports from Zambia as well as those from South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana.
“In addition to liquidity challenges, we continued to face pressure from cheap imports. Government has tried to assist by introducing duty on imported cement, but the reality on the ground is that imports continue to pour in, particularly from Zambia,” said Masiyane. Despite this he added that PPC Zimbabwe was confident that the local economy would pick up in 2017 supported by infrastructure projects.
The Cement and Concrete Institute of Zimbabwe lobbied the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to ban imported cement in 2016. In a paper it suggested including a protection tariff to equate the landed price of imported cement to the cost of the local product, granting of import licences to local producers, cancelling or reviewing all issued permits that are circulating in the country and lowering duty on raw materials.
Zimbabwe: President Robert Mugabe has opened PPC’s US$85m cement grinding plant at Msasa in Harare. China’s Sinoma built the 0.7Mt/yr unit that includes a palletiser and cover-wrapping machine, according to the Xinhua News Agency. The plant, PPC’s third production site in the country, was commissioned in late 2016.
South Africa: PPC’s sales volumes have risen by 4% in South Africa and by 9% in Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Botswana collectively in the first nine months of 2016. The cement producer reported in a trading statement that its sales volumes in South Africa had risen overall but that its prices had fallen. It is planning price increases in selected regions in February 2017 in selected regions.
In Zimbabwe, the company saw a boost in cement sales following the commissioning of a mill in Msasa, Harare although it has faced liquidity challenges that made importing raw materials difficult. In Rwanda it has continued to ramp-up production and in Botswana sales have risen in the last quarter of 2016 due to sales promotions.
The cement producer also reported that the cement plant it is building in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was 95% complete in January 2017. Hot commissioning is due to start at the site in February 2017 and operational cement production anticipated to start in the second quarter of 2017. Operational cement production is also expected to start in the second quarter of 2017 at its project in Ethiopia. Finally, the company’s Slurry SK9 new kiln line in South Africa was reported as being 54% complete. Commissioning and ramp-up for the site is scheduled for the first half of 2018.
Zimbabwe: Production at the Redcliff cement plant is set to start in February 2017. China’s Mortal Investments Manufacturing has built the plant for a cost of US$20m, according to the Zimbabwe Daily. The plant will operate as Livetouch Cement and it will have a production capacity of 0.4Mt/yr. The project is currently waiting for clearance from the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) from Environmental Management Agency. Once operational the plant will produce 22.5 grade cement using locally sourced slag.
Zimbabwe: PPC Zimbabwe has commissioned its 0.7Mt/yr cement grinding plant in Msasa. The plant was built by China’s Sinoma International for a cost of US$85m.
At a tour of the plant PPC Zimbabwe managing director, Kelibone Masiyane complained about the cost of electricity in the country compared to its neighbours. “If you go to Zambia, they charge US$0.06 and we are setting up a plant in Ethiopia, where they charge about US$0.03. As such, competing in other countries will be difficult for Zimbabwe. Transporting cement from Botswana is quite expensive, so we are hoping that the plant will help with that,” he said in comments reported by the News Day newspaper. He added that the cost of electricity in Zimbabwe is US$0.15. Ideally PPC Zimbabwe would like to export cement to Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique.
Zimbabwe: Mortal Investments Manufacturing Company expects to complete construction of its US$10m cement plant in Redcliff by the end of October 2016. The Chinese investor started construction of the project in August 2016 and testing is set to begin by the end of October 2016, according to the Business Chronicle newspaper. Commissioning is scheduled for the end of 2016. The plant will use slag to make its cement.
Zimbabwe: Lafarge Zimbabwe has blamed cash shortages for mounting losses. The company reported that it made a loss of US$2.2m in the first six months of 2016, up from a loss of US$1.3m in the same period of 2015. Its sales revenue grew slightly to US$26.5m from US$25.4, according to the New Zimbabwe newspaper. The cement producer has blamed the loss on cash shortages in the country and competition from imports.
“The volumes of cement sales remained subdued due to increased competitive activity in the total market following the influx of cement imports into the country as well as the entry of a major competitor into the Harare market,” said chairman Kumbirayi Katsande. He added that import restrictions would be helpful but that they would not solve major structural problems with the local economy.
Cash shortages are causing delays in paying foreign creditors said Katsanda. The country is preparing to introduce bond notes, a new local currency, to ease the problem, in November 2016.
Zimbabwe: Sino Zimbabwe Cement Company may cut shifts in response to poor local demand for cement. Managing director Wang Yong told the Business Chronicle that local demand for cement has fallen by 25% due to a poor construction market. The cement producer is considering reducing its current pattern of three shifts to just one day shift.
Despite market concerns, the company has spent US$1m towards building storage space for raw materials and transport infrastructure improvements. In 2015 it completed a US$5m upgrade to double its production capacity to 0.4Mt/yr.
Zimbabwe: Chinese cement producer Mortal Investments Manufacturing Company is constructing a US$10 million plant in Redcliff with capacity to employ about 400 employees, while producing 1Mt/yr. Its arrival in Zimbabwe is expected to intensify competition in the market dominated by Lafarge Cement and Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC). It will be the second cement producer to invest in the Midlands Province, after Sino Zimbabwe Cement, which is located just outside Gweru.
For a town battling high unemployment levels following the closure of its major source of jobs - the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO) - the new project will add life to the town. Redcliff is strategically located for cement producers given its proximity to significant quantities of slag from ZISCO. Redcliff mayor, Freddy Kapuya, said the investment has brought hope to the town. "This will have a positive impact on the lives of the people in Redcliff. The Chinese company bought about 100,000m2 of land from us for about US$600,000 and they have since started constructing a cement plant after investing about US$10 million," he said.
Gift Mpofu, the past president of the Construction Industry Federation of Zimbabwe, welcomed the development, adding that the industry was looking forward to a better product. "As long as they don't produce a dubious or shoddy product, we will support them. This also means that cement manufacturing players will now compete in terms of prices," Mpofu said.
Mortal's interest in Zimbabwe comes a year after Nigerian billionaire; Aliko Dangote announced that Dangote Cement would set up a US$400 million plant in the country, as part of its Pan African expansion strategy. Dangote has already established an operation in Zambia, and his entry into Zimbabwe demonstrates that despite depressed demand, foreign investors are seeing a bright future in the country.
The entry of Mortal and Dangote in the cement industry has resulted in existing players taking steps to cement their dominance in their niche markets. PPC, the largest cement manufacturing company in Zimbabwe, has been working on expansion programmes, with a new plant expected in Harare to serve markets that include Mozambique.
The Zimbabwe unit of LafargeHolcim, is also increasing capacity. Lafarge, the second largest cement producer in the country, says it would continue to make innovations and introduce new products that meet customer needs. Lafarge has introduced a range of new packaging brands for its products.
Sino Zimbabwe has also invested US$2m to boost production at its plant near Gweru.