Lafarge Cement Zambia plans to double its cement production capacity from its two local plants to meet the growing demand, says chief executive, Emmanuel Rigaux.
In 2013, the domestic market for cement grew by 17%, largely driven by the continued increase in government infrastructure projects, mining expansion activities and to a smaller extent by individual home building projects.
“Lafarge Zambia is planning to double its capacity in Ndola and Chilanga through debottlenecking and construction of a new line,” said Rigaux.
“This will enable us to remain the market leader and preferred supplier of construction solutions in Zambia.” Rigaux said that in 2013 production volumes improved by 105,000t to 1.18Mt from 1.07Mt in 2012, representing 9% growth.
Volumes are expected to continue to improve on the back of strong growth in the construction industry in both domestic and export markets. Rigaux said that domestic sales volumes grew by 18% in 2013, while export sales volumes declined by 25% due to increased focus on the domestic market.
“The second half of 2013 saw a sharp improvement in operational and industrial results both at both our Ndola and Chilanga plants,” said Rigaux. “Lafarge Zambia also implemented targeted cost reductions and logistical optimisations, which enabled us to improve our operating margins.”
Rigaux said that Lafarge Cement Zambia’s financial position and cash flow remained solid with strong cash position and no external debt.