PRETORIA Portland Cement (PPC) last Friday unveiled a new palletised packing system and plastic cover wrapping machine at its Bulawayo plant as it moves to ramp up production.
PPC managing director Njombo Lekula said the machine has a capacity of producing 4 000 tonnes of cement per day and this will see the company doubling its production.
“PPC officially launches its most recent acquisition and installation of the latest state-of-the-art palletiser and plastic cover wrapping machine, a first in Zimbabwe’s cement industry,” he said.
“An automated machine which packs cement bags onto a pallet in a neatly designed unit. The palletiser will offer improved output, better services and turn-around times for our customers thereby enhancing PPC’s service delivery. At the same time, it will ensure that PPC remains the supplier of choice within Zimbabwe and beyond the region.”
According to Lekula, the new packing system would end wastages experienced when cement is being loaded and offloaded by forklifts.
It will reduce labour needed and the dust and breakages, while providing faster and a safer packing option.
Lekula said the palletiser machine was the first of many innovations PPC intended to introduce as it sought to consolidate its position as the leading cement manufacturer in Zimbabwe.
He said production had jumped to more than 1,3 million tonnes from 600 000 tonnes per year after the installation of a new palletised packing system and plastic cover wrapping machine.
“The machine was acquired from VFB Bocedi in Italy for $2 million and is able to produce about 200 bags per hour,” he said.
Lekula said the company had embarked on a number of projects which include the construction of a new $200 million cement plant in Mutoko.
The company will next month begin the construction of a loading bay at its Bulawayo plant which should be completed by July.
“We expect new developments in Harare (and) we are carrying feasibility studies for a clinker plant in Mutoko.”hesaid.
The Mutoko project is expected to create more than 300 jobs. PPC is the holding company for a group of companies which manufacture and distribute cement, lime and limestone products.
The group also manufactures and supplies paper sacks and containers for use in the cement and other industries. In addition, PPC has investments in businesses supplying cement-based products.