Livetouch invests US$30m in new Hwange plant

Livetouch Cement manufacturing plant in Redcliff near Kwekwe

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

REDCLIFF-based cement manufacturer, Livetouch Investments, is investing US$30 million in a new plant to be set up in Hwange, the company has said.

The Chinese company already has a plant capable of producing 410 000 tonnes of cement annually.

Livetouch Investments chief executive Dongning Wang told NewsDay that their medium-term plan was to set up a second plant by year end.

“Our medium-term plan is to put another plant in the Hwange area, which will produce 100 000 tonnes of cement per year. We are expecting to commit $30 million into this project,” Wang said.

Wang said in 2018 they had faced a plethora of challenges, chief among them shortage of raw materials.

“We faced shortage of raw material due to forex issues. Also, people do not have enough money to buy our products. We produced about 60 000 tonnes of cement in 2018 and in 2019 we are targeting the same figure. In terms of investment, in the Kwekwe plant we have put about US$40 million,” he said.

He hoped that the economic situation in the country would improve in the near future.

“If people have got money, they can build houses. I believe things will get better,” he said.

The company became the fourth cement producer after joining a field dominated by PPC Zimbabwe, Lafarge Zimbabwe and Sino-Zimbabwe.

PPC, which produced from Bulawayo and Gwanda, doubled its production capacity to 1,4 million tonnes after commissioning a new plant in Harare.

Lafarge has a 450 000 tonnes plant in Harare, while Sino-Zimbabwe’s plant in Gweru can produce about 250 000 tonnes per year.

With capacity in excess of the country’s annual cement demand of 1,14 million tonnes, producers were looking to the region to secure markets.

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