Lafarge unveils US$2,2m DMX plant

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LAFARGE Cement Zimbabwe (Lafarge) yesterday unveiled a US$2,2 million dry mortar mix products plant, which is part of the group’s US$25 million phased projects.

Precious Nyika, Lafarge’s newly appointed chief executive, said the project will bring in additional cement milling capacity as well as additional capacity for agricultural lime production.

“Lafarge has been manufacturing Dry Mortar Mix (DMX) products for a number of years although on a small scale, competing side by side with local suppliers as well as imported products,” she said.

She added that the product range includes tile adhesives, tile grout, cement-based paints, agricultural lime as well and water proofing compound.

“Meanwhile, with the rapid growth of land development projects across the country, particularly housing, the demand for dry mortar mix products has been improving significantly, presenting an attractive gap for Lafarge to fill,” she said.

“Latching onto this opportunity, Lafarge invested in a state-of-the-art technology which will improve DMX manufacturing capacity per annum by a strong 714 percent from the current 7 000 tonnes to 50 000 tonnes.”

Nyika also noted that installation is scheduled to commence in April and the commissioning of the plant is anticipated to happen this July.

The plant is a modern automated system sourced from Varlik Industries in Turkey.
Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said the cement industry is the single most integrated sector in economies, having strong forward linkages with most industries and the consumer markets, while at the same time having equally important backward linkages to the mining and quarrying sectors and the communities surrounding operations.

“I understand that production of our agricultural lime will be ramped up, positively impacting our agriculture, food and self-sufficiency. Dry mortars which will be manufactured on this site are primarily being imported today,” he said.

“The coming online of the dry mortar plant will ensure import substitution and enable Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe to export to other countries in the region. This will indeed contribute to a favourable balance of payment position for our country,” Ncube said.

Ncube noted that cement plays a significant role in improving people’s standard of living globally through creation of employment and provision of multiple cascading economic benefits to associated industries.

“Cement is an extremely important construction material used for housing and infrastructure development, making it a key factor to economic growth and as such the Zimbabwean government views it as a strategic industry with great importance to our economy,” he said.

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