CHINESE company, Livetouch Investments targets to increase capacity to 100% by end of this year at its $30 million cement plant in Redcliff, near Kwekwe.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Construction of the 400 000-tonne a year capacity plant, the fourth such facility in Zimbabwe, started in June 2016 under phase one.
The cement company becomes the fourth cement producing company in the country after PPC Zimbabwe, Lafarge Zimbabwe and Sino-Zimbabwe.
Livetouch Investments chief executive officer, Dongning Wang, told NewsDay on the sidelines of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo last week they were working tirelessly to operate at full capacity.
Currently, they are operating at about 70% capacity.
“Our production capacity would be 400 000 tonne per year. That’s our production ability of this factory. But at the beginning year, our target will be something around 60 to 70 000 tonne per year of cement,” Wang said.
Wang said the cement factory was their first product for the group in Zimbabwe. He said the group would also invest in clinker and copper-steel production.
“Hopefully by end of this year we will reach the target that we set for this cement factory and by the beginning of next year we can proceed to phase 2,” he said.
The company currently employs 100 people and intends to increase the number to 200 when running at full capacity.
He said they would keep their plant in the Midlands province.
Commenting on the country’s business climate, he said so far “it’s quite tight and precious”, but it has a chance to be turned around.
He said they invested about $30 million into the business, but they were still revaluing.
PPC, which produced from Bulawayo and Gwanda, doubled its production capacity to 1,4 million tonnes after recently commissioning a new plant in Harare.
Lafarge has a 450 000t plant in Harare while Sino-Zimbabwe’s plant in Gweru can produce about 250 000t per year.
Zimbabwe currently consumes about 1,14 tonnes of cement per year. Producers have to secure markets in the region for the excess production.