Displaying items by tag: Zambia
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.
Zambia: Lafarge Zambia will begin work on the US$217m expansion of its cement plant in Lusaka in 2015 despite the recent opening of Dangote's cement plant in the country and slow regional economic growth.
Construction will start in the second half of 2015 and be completed in 2018, according to Emmanuel Rigaux, chief executive of the plant. The work will double Lafarge's cement production capacity to 2Mt/yr.
Lafarge's expansion and Dangote's new plant are not expected to cause a cement glut in Zambia, mainly because of demand from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. "The growth there is massive, in fact it's even higher than in Zambia," said Rigaux.
Chinese and Zambian officials also appear to be planning the construction of a cement plant in Zambia: Find story here.
Zambia/China: Chinese firms have made a commitment to accelerate investment in Zambia under agreements valued at a combined US$800m. The deal was signed by the Zambia-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone and 11 companies in Beijing. One of the 11 Chinese firms is West China Cement Ltd, which will set up a cement plant in the zone.
"Zambia hopes to attract more Chinese investors and tourists to improve economic development," said Zambian president Edgar Lungu, adding that his government will provide 'strong support' to Chinese companies. Zan Baosen, general manager of the zone, said that Zambia offers many incentives to Chinese companies. "We are eager to cooperate with Chinese entrepreneurs to explore the market potential in Zambia," he said.
Zambia: The chief executive officer of Zambezi Portland Cement (ZPC), Peter Kanaganayagam, has fled Zambia following a High Court decision relating to the contested ownership of the US$160m company.
Kanaganayagam, who was appointed to run the company following the controversial takeover by the financier Rajan Mahtani, announced to staff at the company that he would be 'seeking medical treatment' in Australia 'for at least four months.' However, Kanaganayagam's decision to flee Zambia comes within hours of a High Court decision reversing the illegal deportations of ZPC executives Daniele Ventriglia and Valerio Ventriglia and restoring their residency permits as well as those of Antonio Ventriglia and Claudio Ventriglia.
Despite obtaining court injunctions against the deportations, the two company directors were forced to leave their country of birth with only four hours notice in November 2012. In the new ruling by High Court Judge Mubanga Kondolo SC, it was found that the immigration authorities failed to give requisite notice of at least 48 hours for the applicants to make representations and as such as the revocation of their residency permits was 'void and had no effect.'
"It is declared that the applicants were and are entitled to continue enjoying their status as permanent residents in Zambia as they did prior to the said decision being communicated to them," said the judge.
The court's decision may have an important impact on the struggle for control of ZPC. Following the deportations on 22 December 2012, Mahtani convened an illegal board meeting in the absence of the company's management and unlawfully appointed Andrew Kamanga as CEO, who was later followed by Kanaganayagam. Now that the court has found that the Ventriglias can return to Zambia and reclaim their ownership of ZPC, there are concerns that all the illegal appointments by Mahtani could be reversed, which is why many employees believe that Kanaganayagam chose to flee.
The dispute regarding the alleged theft of Zambezi Portland Cement by Mahtani has been fraught with disclosures of forgeries, fraud, corruption and even criminal charges.