PPC Zim to increase capacity to 1,5 million

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PPC will however retire two units at its old Bulawayo plant as the units are inefficient and costly to run.

PRETORIA Portland Cement (PPC) plans to boost its production capacity to 1,5 million tonnes per annum from the current 1,1 million tonnes, following the completion of the company’s Msasa plant next year.
PPC managing director, Njambo Lekula said the company will however retire two units at its old Bulawayo plant as the units are inefficient and costly to run.

“We hope to boost our production capacity to 1,5 million tonnes per annum from the current 1.1mln tonnes once we have completed our Msasa plant. Although the new plant will boost production by 700 000tons, 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.”

The US$86 million plant is expected to be commissioned in September 2016 and will have a capacity of 700 000 tonnes. The group expects to invest a total US$200 million on the Msasa plant. However 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.

Lekula said the company’s exports have declined significantly in the past year owing to improved capacities in neighboring countries.

“Improved capacities and the unfavorable exchange rate have seen us losing significant ground on our exports to neighboring 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

The company recently announced that it would diversify into brick molding and production of allied construction products such as aggregates and pavers.

PPC closed Zimbabwe Stock Exchange trades on Friday unchanged at 110c. The broader market however snapped a losing streak albeit marginally. At close the Industrials Index put on 0,53 percent to 135,53 while the Minings Index shed 0,20 percent to 35,34 after Falgold’s 0,1c loss to 0,4c. The gold miners’ trades were worth US$26 while overall turnover was at US$476 838, an improvement from US$236 847 yesterday.

Delta recovered 1.35c to 84,35c after shares valued at US$130 538 exchanged hands. Old Mutual put on 0,29c to 280c to lead in turnover contribution at US$203 056. Elsewhere among the heavyweights Econet was unchanged at 28c while Innscor pared a marginal 0,01c to 59,49c and OK Zimbabwe dropped 0,02c to 7,48c.

CFI added 0,39c to 4c bringing its year to date gain to 33 percent. The group intends to raise US$20 millioncapital to support its SBUs while borrowings have been cleared by a swap agreement with Fidelity for land in the Waterfalls area. Fidelity which has estimated the market value for the land after developments at US$350 mln did not trade but is currently down 2,5 percent on its previous price of 7,8c.

Mash Holdings which said it would pre-let its Natal road property was up 0,01c to 2,01c.

The Industrials Index is down 16,75 percent year on year.-FinX