Displaying items by tag: Zambia
Zambia: Zambian police have allegedly been spotted attempting to seize control of a private residence owned by Valerio Ventriglia, one of the executives ousted from Zambezi Portland Cement (ZPC) company as part of a contested corporate raid by Finance Bank chairman Rajan Mahtani, according to local media.
The reports claim that police officers were seen approaching the property in violation of a court order. Sources said that this was an indication that police are acting in the service of a private businessman against the law. The police raid comes just days after the Ndola High Court ruled that Ndola State did not have any proof linking the construction of the home to money laundering and fraud allegations brought by Mahtani against the founders ZPC.
On 27 June 2014 the Ndola High Court ruled that the Zambian police must hand over the property to its rightful owner or an appointed representative. Failure to carry out the court order would result in a bench warrant issued against the Police Commissioner for failing to obey the Court's Order. After police complied with the order and handed over the house to a representative of Ventriglia, a day later the Police Commissioner informed the representative that Mahtani 'had already spoken to the inspector general of the Zambia Police' and that on 2 July 2014 the police would repossess the property once again against the order of the court.
The ZPC legal saga has featured a number of revelations, including allegations of forged share transfer certificates and an allegedly illegal board of directors meeting to oust the company founders from control of the company. Ventriglia, along with his brother Daniele Ventriglia, were deported from Zambia to Italy in November 2012 despite a court injunction. The police have also played an intricate role in the ZPC dispute, as they refused to serve Andrew Kamanga with an injunction preventing him from acting as managing director of the ZPC, while a force of more than 200 armed officers in full riot gear were deployed to forcefully seize control of the company in December 2012.
Zimbabwe: PPC Zimbabwe reports that its domestic sales for the first five months of 2014 have fallen by 5% compared to the same period in 2013. Managing director Njombo Lekula blamed the drop on a decrease in housing projects.
"For the past few years there has been significant growth in housing, which boosted cement demand, however, the current economic situation is beginning to have an impact on home building activities," said Lekula in comments reported by The Herald.
PPC Zimbabwe now intends to sell its excess production in neighbouring countries. However, Lekula pointed out that Mozambique has a 'very competitive' market due to imports from the Far East via the port of Beira. In addition the cost of logistics to reach this market is an issue for the cement producer. PPC Zimbabwe are also considering targeting Zambia but logistics and the fluctuating price of the Kwacha have posed challenges.
PPC Zimbabwe intends to start building a US$200m cement plant in the north-east of Zimbabwe in 2014. The company has also started constructing clinker grinding plants near Harare and Tete, Mozambique. Currently, PPC Zimbabwe has a cement production capacity of 0.76Mt/yr. The new projects are expected to increase capacity to 1.2Mt/yr.
Africa: Chief Executive Officer at Dangote Cement, Devakumar Edwin said that the company plans to start operations in Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Zambia in 2014. Dangote, which has a production capacity of 20.3Mt/yr in Nigeria, also intends to add 9Mt/yr to production in Nigeria by the end of 2014.
Edwin said that Dangote is currently reviewing its operations in Kenya in light of the discovery of limestone deposits in the country. Dangote plans to increase the capacity of its proposed plant in Kenya from 1.5Mt/yr to 3.0Mt/yr.
"In Ethiopia, work is well underway to build 2.5Mt/yr plant at Mugher, with commissioning expected late in 2014. In Tanzania, we have begun work on a 3Mt/yr plant at Mtwara that will be operational in 2015. In Zambia, work is underway on a 1.5Mt/yr plant at Ndola with cement production expected in the second half of 2014," said Edwin.
The bid to expand is part of the company's long-term expansion strategy across the continent. Dangote has three plants in Nigeria and plans to expand into 13 other African nations, bringing its total capacity to more than 60Mt/yr by 2016. Edwin added that the company is stalling its business plan in South Sudan 'because of military conflict in that nation.'
Dangote recorded a turnover of US$2.3bn in the 2013 financial year, up by 29.4% from US$1.8bn in 2012. Profit before tax was US$1.18bn, compared with US$836m in 2012, while profit after tax rose to US$1.24bn, a 38.73% increase when compared to US$899m recorded in the same period of 2012.
Zambia: Commerce minister Miles Sampa says that the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) is a threat to the planned commissioning of the US$400m Dangote Cement plant in Ndola in July 2014.
ZEMA recently directed the halting of construction of the plant. Sampa said that ZEMA needs to partner with the government in facilitating the much-needed foreign investments to help the country's economy grow.
"If ZEMA looks to stop progress then something is wrong somewhere," Sampa said. "Why in the world, after US$400m has been invested, would ZEMA decide to write to the investor to stop the construction? ZEMA approved the project in 2011."
According to local sources, ZEMA ordered a halt to the construction of the Dangote cement plant over a dispute on tapping water from the nearby Kafubu River. ZEMA contended that tapping water from the river was not in the initially approved Environmental Impact Assessment report when it approved the planned construction of the plant.
"If Dangote break the rule, let's treat them like any other company; the people here need jobs," Sampa said. "Let's not just dance to the tune of those who do not have the interest of the people here. I am appealing to ZEMA in the next seven days to formally write to advise Dangote to continue with the construction or to stop and that should be done within the law."
Sampa said that the new plant would increase competition among cement producers and consequently reduce the cost of the commodity in the country. "The construction industry is eagerly waiting for commercial production and distribution of Dangote cement products at competitive market prices," said Sampa.
Zambia: Zambezi Portland Cement (ZPC) increased its cement production by 5% to 475,000t/yr in 2013 from 452,000t/yr in 2012. ZPC sales and marketing manager Isaac Ngoma said that ZPC had seen its output grow by 25% year-on-year to nearly 70,000t for the first two months of 2014. ZPC has expansion projects planned for 2014 and the company also intends to increase its mining and aggregate sales.
Zambia: Lafarge Zambia is building a cement depot in Chipata District, Eastern Province with an investment of US$0.7m. The depot will have a storage capacity of 3000t. Emmanuel Rigaux, managing director of Lafarge Zambia, said that Lafarge had decided to build the depot due to high demand for cement. However, he added that this new storage capacity would not be enough for the whole province and that the company would increase its number of warehouses depending on demand.
Zambia: Dangote Cement plans to commission a US$400m cement plant in the city of Ndola in July 2014 with a production capacity of 3000t/day.
The company expects to produce 1.0 - 1.2Mt/yr of cement when it is commissioned, which will increase Zambia's total cement production to 2.5 - 2.7Mt/yr. Zambia currently has a cement production capacity of 1.5Mt/yr from Lafarge's plants in Lusaka and Ndola and Zambezi Portland's plant in Ndola.
Senior general manager for Dangote Projects, Anand Kameshwar said that installation of major equipment at the plant by China's Sinoma Engineering was nearly complete. "Most of the major equipment has been installed and the project is on course and should be complete by July 2014," Kameshwar said, adding that Dangote would contribute significantly in mitigating cement shortages that have resulted from high cement demand due to construction activities. Once operational, the cement factory will create 700 new jobs.
Dangote is also constructing a 30MW power sub-station that is expected to commission in May 2014. "This facility will provide electricity to the cement plant, which is expected to consume 25MW of power per day," Kameshwar said. The cement factory will also open up other avenues for Dangote to increase its investments in Zambia.
Zambia: Lafarge Zambia plc has commissioned a US$5m 600,000t/yr aggregate plant with the Zambian Government that is expected to create 70 new direct jobs.
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Emmanuel Chenda, said that national roads infrastructure programmes such as the Link Zambia 8,000 and Pave Zambia 2000 require readily available cement and aggregate and the plant will ensure there is adequate supply for the project to be implemented effectively.
"The huge demand for cement and aggregates that the construction industry provides cannot be overstated. The market is ready and all you need is tap into it by way of increasing commercial circulation of the products at competitive market rates," said Chenda. He disclosed that Government has formulated mid-term policies and strategies to address constraints in the manufacturing sector such as high cost of production, limited access to long-term finance and weak linkages. The policies will be implemented over the next five years in line with the revised Sixth National Development Plan.
Lafarge Zambia chief executive officer Emmanuel Rigaux said that the aggregate plant can also be adjusted in terms of capacity, which will enable the company to supply more of the product as required.
Nigeria: Dangote Cement intends to reach a total cement production capacity of 50Mt/yr by 2016 which will make it Africa's largest cement producer. The company's chief executive, DVG Edwin, summarised production projects by the Nigeria-based cement producer: "Our plant in Senegal will soon be producing cement and our South African venture, Sephaku Cement, is well on track to open in early 2014. These two plants will be our first production ventures outside Nigeria as we aim to become Africa's leading supplier of cement," said Edwin.
Edwin revealed that construction work is underway at Mugher, Ethiopia for a 2.5Mt/yr cement plant. Operation is scheduled to begin in October 2015 at a 3Mt/yr gas-fired plant in Mtwara, Tanzania. Cement production is expected to start in mid-2014 at a 1.5Mt/yr in Ndola, Zambia. In Cameroon a 1.5Mt/yr grinding plant will be completed in the first half of 2014 and an integrated 1.5Mt/yr cement plant is expected to begin production in the second quarter of 2016. A 1.5Mt/yr cement plant in South Sudan and a 1.5Mt/yr integrated cement plant in Kenya are both set to become operational in 2016.
Along the coast of West Africa Dangote nears completion of import facilities to receive and bag bulk cement produced in Nigeria and Senegal. Additional import facilities in Sierra Leone are due to begin by the end of 2013 or early 2014.
In Liberia Edwin said that the order for equipment has been made for an import facility in Freeport Monrovia. Imports into Liberia are expected to commence in early 2015. The company plans to build a 1.5Mt/yr grinding plant in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, with operations projected to begin in early 2015. In Ghana, the company plans to open 1.5Mt/yr grinding plants in Tema and Takoradi by early 2015. Finally, Dangote cement has recently announced its intention to build an integrated 1.5Mt/yr plant in Niger.
Zambia: The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) of Zambia has started a study to investigate cement price rises in South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania and Zambia. The four sub-Saharan countries were chosen by the CCPC as a case study because they had similar companies producing and selling cement locally according to CCPC public relations officer Hanford Chaaba.
"We have been monitoring this situation concerning price changes for quite some time now and a study has been focused on these countries because the same producers of cement in Zambia have established factories in South Africa, Tanzania and Botswana," said Chaaba. He added that a similar study is also being conducted for the sugar and poultry industries.