Displaying items by tag: Zambia
Tanzania: Nigeria's Dangote Cement is set to commission its new 3.0Mt/yr cement plant in Mtwara District on 10 October 2015. The company will also hold the ground-breaking ceremony for 25 hectares of jetty land at Mgao village in Mtwara District on the same day.
The commissioning of the new cement plant, which is part of the company's Africa expansion strategy, will be the fourth in the series after Ethiopia, Zambia and Cameroon. Cement plants due for commissioning this year are located in Senegal and South Africa, while construction works are ongoing in several other African countries.
Zambia: Zambezi Portland Cement (ZPC) says it has been losing US$2.5/bag (50kg) of cement it has sold since Dangote Cement entered the market. Operations director Daniele Ventriglia said that, despite maintaining its market share, the competition in the cement business was stiff.
Ventriglia said that ZPC would invest US$4m in new state-of-the-art block-making machinery, which will provide a higher proportion of value-added products. "The machines are expected to arrive from Italy in the next three months, before the year ends. Production of blocks will increase by 20%. An additional 25 people will be employed," he said. Ventriglia added that ZPC had remained competitive in block production because its product was of high quality and at an affordable price.
Zambia: Lafarge Zambia's post-tax profit grew by 4% year-on-year to US$36,017 in the first half of 2015 despite economic challenges in Zambia and political uncertainties in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which constitutes the company's major export market. Lafarge Zambia recently merged with Holcim Construction Group, which reported a 14% increase in turnover to US$134,577 in the first half of 2015.
Lafarge Zambia said that electricity supply disruptions adversely impacted cement production in 2015. Company chief executive officer Emmanuel Rigaux said that domestic demand in the second half of 2015 is expected to continue to slow down until Eurobond proceeds are directed towards infrastructure and construction activity.
"Strong focus in the second half of 2015 will be placed on adjusting our cost base wherever necessary. Market activity was subdued in the first half of the year in the Zambian market and was negatively impacted by political uncertainties in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which constitutes our major export market. The successful issuance of the US$1.25bn by the Zambian government is expected to generate increased construction activity," said Rigaux.
Cameroon: Dangote Cement will open its new 1.5Mt/yr Sinoma-built cement plant in Douala, Cameroon today. "Africa's future growth is intrinsically linked to cement," said Aliko Dangote earlier in August 2015, as he opened another new factory on the outskirts of Ndola, Zambia. Both plants are part of Dangote Cement's US$4.3bn expansion across Africa and Asia, which we reported on earlier.
Zambia: Some 47 employees at Zambezi Portland in Ndola have been laid off while a further 63 are earmarked for retrenchment. The redundancies are due to reduction in business volume at the cement company, which is now faced with stiff competition from the newly commissioned Dangote Cement plant.
Zambezi Portland Cement operations director Danielle Ventriglia confirmed the retrenchment and said that the affected workers had been paid US$308/each in benefits. Ventriglia said that the retrenchments were necessitated by economic reasons and that the company would maintain a lean workforce. He added that the company was also working towards reclaiming the market share and had reduced its cement price significantly. Another 63 workers are expected to be retrenched in the next six weeks and the company would retain a workforce of 340 employees.
Zambia: Nigeria's Dangote Cement opened its US$400m cement plant in Masaiti, Zambia on 4 August 2015, signalling its increasingly international ambitions as it plans new investments across Africa. The plant is expected to produce 1.5Mt/yr of cement per year once it is fully operational, creating at least 1000 direct jobs and 6000 indirectly.
"We hope to commission four other cement plants in Senegal, South Africa, Cameroon and Tanzania before the end of 2015," said Aiko Dangote, Dangote Group president. "We have decided to invest in 16 countries across the continent because we believe that Africa's future is linked to cement."
Zambia: Dangote Group has announced plans to build a new cement plant in Chongwe, Lusaka, according to All Africa. Meanwhile, its cement plant in Masaiti is due to be officially commissioned on 4 August 2015.
Zambia: According to TUMFWEKO, Lafarge Zambia has launched a depot in Solwezi to provide convenience of purchase for resellers and end users in North Western Province. The provincial minister, Dawson Kafwaya, congratulated Lafarge for opening a depot in Solwezi.
Kaziwe Kaulule, marketing director of Lafarge, said that Lafarge's goal was to provide the Zambian market with building materials and construction solutions by opening depots across the country. "Lafarge will continue to put in place systems and best ways of serving customers because customer satisfaction is what drives us. Our target is to make sure that we open a depot in every province to help our customers to easily access the products we offer," said Kaulule. He further assured the people that the depot would be operated according to the Lafarge Health and Safety Standards and that the company had put in place a strategy to help drivers achieve safe delivery of the product to the depot.
The Newly opened Lafarge Solwezi depot has a capacity to store 4500t of cement and will be the fifth Lafarge depot in Zambia among others held in Chipata, Livingstone, Ndola and Kasumbalesa.
Zambia: Zambezi Portland Cement management headed by Antonio Ventriglia and Manuela Sebastiani has assured all customers and the general public that the company has taken responsibility of operations.
Ventriglia said that all cement sales would resume and that customers would be expected to deposit money into the Zambezi Portland Cement account held at First Alliance Bank in Ndola. He has advised customers and the general public to ignore the purported claim of ownership of Zambezi Portland Cement by Rajan Mahtani and said that the rightful owners were the Ventriglia family. Ventriglia said that by claiming ownership of Zambezi Portland Cement, Mahtani was undermining the rule of law because the courts' decision was issued in their favour and is in the public domain.
Zambia: Following the resumption of management at Zambezi Portland Cement (ZPC) by the original company founders, Antonio Ventriglia and Manuela Sebastiani on 8 April 2015, the cement plant was discovered to be in extraordinary disrepair, having suffered much costly damage under the previous management.
According to sources at ZPC, numerous pieces of large machinery and vehicles have been damaged beyond repair under the stewardship of former managing director Andrew Kamanga, who was later succeeded by Peter Kanaganayagam.
Both Kamanga and Kanaganayagam were appointed to run ZPC in late 2012 following a disputed board meeting that took place after other company directors had been deported from the country under suspicious circumstances that were recently reversed by the courts. Both directors' lack of qualifications and experience in operating a cement plant was criticised by a number of employees at the plant.
"Just a few years ago this was a world-class cement company, the best in Zambia, but now Rajan Mahtani, Kamanga and Kanaganyagam have almost run it into the ground," said one of the plant's engineers. "Not only have they neglected and destroyed valuable equipment worth millions of dollars, they have also issued a series of fake invoices for replacement parts as part of a ongoing scam. There is no way that any responsible manager would let so much valuable equipment go to waste."
According to sources at ZPC, such a level of destruction was made possible because of alleged unscrupulous purchase contracts for spare parts from suppliers that had no capacity to fulfil the orders. "We saw Kanaganayagam take millions of dollars worth of kickbacks by awarding these bogus contracts for spare parts that never arrived, one of these companies being Zamrock Zambia Limited," alleged one employee who worked closely with management in the sales office.
Kanaganayagam has since fled Zambia shortly following the court decision to reverse the deportation orders against the company's true owners. Mahtani, who was found to owe a large amount of unpaid taxes to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), is currently believed to be in hiding in Canada, according to local media.