Displaying items by tag: Zambia
Zambia: The High Court of Zambia has blocked Rajan Mahtani in his latest attempt to regain control of Zambezi Portland Cement. Justice FM Chishimba rejected Mahtani's request for a court appointed Provisional Liquidator, which could have been used to seize the company's property, according to Zambia Reports. Chishimba ruled that no such request could be approved whilst a shareholder’s dispute over the company remains unsettled.
Mahtani, a businessman and banker, has been involved in a dispute with the original founders of Zambezi Portland Cement over control of the company. In April 2015 Antonio Ventriglia and Manuela Sebastiani resumed management of the cement producer. However, Mahtani maintains that he holds a majority share in the company.
Zambia: Lafarge Zambia’s revenue has fallen by 6% year-on-year to US$250m in 2015 from US$267m in 2014. Its profit fell by 24% to US$62m from US$82m. The subsidiary of LafareHolcim blamed the results on challenging markets, power costs increase and steep currency depreciation.
“Despite new competition and challenging markets, Lafarge Zambia maintained its market leadership in 2015 both in Zambia and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with a marginal reduction versus our record 2014 volume numbers. The second half of 2015 saw a combination of negative factors both in terms of market and in terms of production costs,” said Lafarge Zambia CEO Emmanuel Rigaux.
In 2016 the cement producer expects the market to be challenging for both price and volume. It intends to focus on exports markets in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. A partnership with the rail authorities including Zambia Railways Limited is also expected to further aid exports.
Zambia: Lafarge Zambia has successfully commissioned a Cemengal Plug & Grind cement grinding plant in Ndola which will produce 100,000t/yr of cement and take the plant's total capacity to 500,000t/yr. It has been constructed on available land within the Ndola plant.
"This project has utilised very minimal amount of land. It is fitted with state-of-the art technology and has bag filters to aid environmental management," said Lafarge Zambia CEO, Emmanuel Rigaux. He added that the plant will produce Supaset Cement. This will be exported to the Democratic Republic of Congo and other neighbouring countries.
Also present at the event was the LafargeHolcim Group Area Manager for East Africa and Indian Ocean, Dominique Drouet who was on a three day visit to Zambia.
Democratic Republic of Congo/Zambia: Lafarge Zambia and Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) have collaborated to increase cement exports to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
A policy directive is being followed by the government in order to increase exports and help stabilise the local currency. Lafarge will begin to export 400t/week of cement to the DRC in 2016 and will multiply its exports to Malawi and the DRC by a factor of four. Lafarge has become the biggest user of rail in the country and the first cement producer to be fully-associated.
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."