Zimbabwe: Sino Zimbabwe Cement Company is now operating at 60% capacity utilisation following a US$4m investment in a three-phase plant upgrade.
Phase one upgrades were undertaken on the cement mill and rotary kiln in order to boost cement output. The completion of the kiln upgrade has seen Sino Zimbabwe Cement improve its energy consumption and reduce its carbon footprint, while the new high-temperature bag filter system will significantly reduce dust emissions. The second phase of upgrades will target the warehousing and storage facilities and are expected to be completed in 2015. The third phase will be completed in 2016.
"The completion of the first phase boosted clinker production at the Gweru plant. Now we can produce 700,000t/yr," said Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe (IDCZ) public relations advisor Dereck Sibanda. "The amount invested went towards refurbishments of the cement mill, the rotary kiln as well as renewing and automating ancillary equipment."
Sibanda said that cement demand is at its peak and that Sino Zimbabwe Cement will continue its upgrades to improve viability. "The second phase is expected to be complete sometime this year and we are quite confident of our prospects considering the richness of our limestone deposits," said Sibanda.
Sino-Zim is a joint venture company between IDCZ and China Buildings Materials Corporation, which started operating in 2001. The US$4m investment by the Chinese shareholder was to boost output and reduce pollution. Sibanda said that the new technology would help Sino Zimbabwe Cement to reduce its emissions. In 2013, it was fined by the Environmental Management Agency for air pollution.