P600 million purchase marks cement manufacturer’s big plans
Having come through Covid-19 largely unscathed, PPC Botswana are now looking to take their operations to exciting new levels.
In doing so, the cement makers have purchased P600 million worth of coal from Morupule Coal Mine (MCM) – an investment they intend to make every year.
As well as boosting their local production, the coal has been earmarked for export to PPC’s South African (SA) plant in Slurry (some 20km north east of Mahikeng).
Speaking at a media tour of their Gaborone plant last week, PPC Botswana Head of Business Unit, Tuelo Botlhole revealed this equates to around 230, 000 metric tons of the black rock annually.
Botlhole noted this continues PPC’s proud working relationship with Morupule, a partnership that dates back 27 years.
“PPC Botswana’s fly ash requirement for its production process was historically bought from Morupule A Power Station during the period 1995 to 2011. It was unfortunate when in 2011 Morupule A was decommissioned,” he said.
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Describing the coal purchase as a game changer, Botlhole added, “The acquisition of raw materials locally is a huge boost for our production process and industry. This will ensure that we have cement at all times and is readily available at your nearest retail outlet.”
He further pointed out several job openings would be created.
“Our collaboration with Morupule Plant also means that there will be employment creation across industries. This will be a boost to the Palapye community and its economy; creation of employment across industries is something that we value and endorse at PPC Botswana,” he declared.
Giving the media a brief insight into the company’s operations, Botlhole explained they supply a wide variety of clients.
“Our value creation goes beyond high quality products for the Sure Range, which caters for major construction projects such as iTowers and Dikatlong dam to basic home use or general-purpose cement.”
However, the PPC Botswana Head of Business Unit admitted that product dumping from international and regional cement producers remains a big challenge in the industry.
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“The argument has always been that local cement manufacturers play a vital role in the local economy by creating employment and the usage of local raw materials. On the other hand, regional and international cement manufacturers dump their cement products in local retail outlets and sell them at a very low price and that is unfair competition as they do not even create value in the local economy,” bemoaned Botlhole.
Despite this, he reiterated PPC Botswana’s confidence in cementing their position as the country’s top cement producers.