PRETORIA Portland Cement (PPC) Zimbabwe says its $75 million plant in Harare, expected to produce more than 680 000 tonnes of cement annually, is almost complete, with commissioning already scheduled for year-end.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
In emailed responses to NewsDay, PPC Zimbabwe managing director Kelibone Masiyane said all was set for the biggest project to roar into life by the end of the year.
“The Harare Msasa project is at an advanced stage, with commissioning already in progress and plant handover is on schedule for year-end,” he said.
Masiyane said the plant would boost the company’s production in the near future.
“The new plant in Harare creates opportunities for growth going into the future and this expanded factory-footprint presents us with exciting possibilities,” he said.
Commenting on the company’s performance in the first half of the year, Masiyane said the business was depressed compared to last year.
“While positive in the circumstances, overall performance has declined slightly compared to last year. This decrease can be mainly ascribed to the impact of selling price pressures together with the lower sales volumes,” he said.
The PPC boss, however, said good cost control measures had led to impressive declines in production costs and overheads.
In its reviewed provisional results for the six month period ended March 31 2016, the South African-headquartered company said local selling prices for its cement went down 3%.
It said volumes, including exports, at its Zimbabwean unit went down 22% in the first half of the year due to liquidity challenges, increased local competition and lower disposable income.
The company has cement manufacturing plants at Cementside in Bulawayo and Colleen Bawn in Matabeleland South.
Its Bulawayo plant produced around 600 000 tonnes of cement in 2014, while operating at 75% of installed capacity.
Apart from South Africa and Zimbabwe, PPC also has units in Botswana, Ethiopia and Rwanda.