South Africa’s PPC has launched a major investment programme that should be completed by 2017 and enable it to compete more with the continental cement giants. In a recent interview, Pepe Meijer, Managing director of PPC International, said that his company has a major appetite for West Africa, East Africa as well as North Africa.
“Certainly, in terms of our drive, we are still focused on West Africa and East Africa. Rwanda is well aligned to the eastern side of DRC and obviously to the Burundi area. Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania – that’s an area that we are seriously considering. However, it’s becoming very competitive, particularly Kenya. West Africa is the area where we haven’t really set our flag down yet. Ghana is still a country to look at. Nigeria is not to be excluded. And then the surrounding countries – Niger is also getting to the front in terms of opportunities and so is Mali,” he said.
PPC essentially targets to boost revenue outside of South Africa by 40% by 2017. “Currently, 26% of our revenue comes from outside South Africa, mainly from Zimbabwe. Of the new projects that are currently on the go, one is in Harare, which is a 100tn/hour mill that we are about to start. That will boost Zimbabwe’s output of about a 1m tonnes by another 400,000t because we’re partly going to use the additional capacity to replace old mill capacity in Bulawayo,” said Meijer.
“In Rwanda, we have an operation called CIMERWA very close to the DRC and Burundi borders. There’s a current operation doing 100,000t per annum (tpa). We’re building a new plant, and we will complete it in this calendar year. We will start producing in the first quarter of 2015. That operation will then produce 600,000tpa,” added Meijer.