HARARE, March 16 (The Source) – PPC Zimbabwe says its newly installed plant in Harare is heavily automated and will lower production costs, allowing the company to export into the region.
The cement manufacturer last November commissioned the 700,000 tonne plant in Harare doubling its capacity in the country. It has two other operations in Bulawayo and Colleen Bawn, near Gwanda.
Managing director, Kelibone Masiyane told The Source after the official opening of the plant on Thursday that Zimbabwe was a high cost base but the company was working on cutting costs to make it more competitive in the region.
“If you look at this plant, its highly automated. We are trying to improve efficiencies and productivity. We have a similar plant in Bulawayo but you will find that the number in terms of manning levels are much less. As a company we are on a cost containment drive and that will make us competitive in the region,” he said.
“So we are starting to look at whether we want to sale that cement in the region at variable cost, not at fully absorbed cost and because we have idle capacity we can do that. It is quite challenging but we believe for the survival of the business it is something we have to do.”
Apart from PPC Zimbabwe’s cement industry comprises of two other players, Larfarge Zimbabwe and Sino-Zim with installed capacity of 450,000 tonnes and 250,000 tonnes annually.
The country’s demand for cement for the year is estimated at 1,17 million tonnes.