DUALLY-listed Portland Holdings Limited (PHL) plans to set up a new $200 million cement manufacturing plant in Zimbabwe as it expands its wings.
Report by Mernat Mafirakurewa
Speaking on the sidelines of a ceremony to mark the company’s compliance with the indigenisation and empowerment regulations in Harare yesterday, PPC Zimbabwe managing director Zak Limbada said the company had already started drilling to determine the amount of raw materials in Rushinga.
“The whole plant will be funded to the tune of $200 million and will have a capacity to produce one million tonnes,” Limbada said.
“We should be making official announcements soon.”
He said current cement production in Zimbabwe stood at 1,6 million tonnes.
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed entity operates two plants in the country, one in Colleen Bawn and another in Bulawayo.
Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere said compliance with the empowerment laws by mining companies was bringing about investor certainty and security.
“It is the only way that creates investor certainty. Colonialism is gone. Those days of islands of prosperity and seas of poverty are gone. What PPC has done ensure certainty and security to their investment,” Kasukuwere said.
“We are ready to welcome PPC in Mashonaland Central. They are coming to Rushinga to build another cement factory and we are ready to support them. This is the kind of investment that we want.”
PHL chief financial officer Tryphosa Ramano said the company’s operations were not isolated from the communities where the company operates.
“We have always believed in Zimbabwe and I trust that our communities in those areas where we have our operations can attest to our character and goodwill,” Ramano said.
“The growth in the financial year for Zimbabwe has by far surpassed all other years and we look forward to more exciting development as we entrench our Africa wide footprint in line with our sustainable strategy.”
PHL yesterday officially handed over 29,6% of its share holding to locals in a transaction that made it fully compliant with the country’s indigensiation and economic empowerment regulations
Under the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act,foreign-owned companies are required to sell at least 51% of their shareholding to indigenous Zimbabweans.
Before yesterday’s deal, locals held 21,4%.
Under the empowerment deal signed yesterday, Gwanda & Umguza Rural District Community Share Ownership Trust will acquire 10% and Employee Share Ownership Trust 5% while a local Indigenous special purpose vehicle will get 4,9%.
The National Indigenisation Economic Empowerment Fund would acquire 9,7%.
Several mining firms, including another platinum mining company, Zimbabwe Platinum Holdings, Blanket Gold Mine and Unki have agreed to cede 51% to locals as dictated by the indigenisation law.