PPC opts for upgrade rather than new plant in Cape

Posted On Wednesday, 04 August 2010 02:00 Published by Commercial Property News
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PPC says it will withdraw an environmental application for its Western Cape capacity expansion programme in light of low cement demand and poor economic conditions.

PPCPRETORIA Portland Cement (PPC) said yesterday it would withdraw an environmental application for its Western Cape capacity expansion programme in light of low cement demand and poor economic conditions.

Before the economic crisis, PPC was operating over capacity and had to import cement in the Western Cape, where it was the chief supplier.

The original expansion project, known as Se Kika, involved building a 1,4-million-ton-a-year cement plant, which with a 40% drop in demand in the region was now not viable.

“Indeed, expansion plans were completed at a time of peak

Mr Paul Stuiver said a revised plan, of upgrading existing Western Cape facilities, would still achieve PPC’s original objectives with regard to environmental standards, energy efficiency and capacity expansion in the region.

Under the revised programme, the company would upgrade its Riebeeck and De Hoek operations. The combined capacity of the two sites, after upgrading and expansion, would be the same as the original Se Kika project. “These (upgrades), however, would be in phases over a longer time.”

PPC, in terms of its new plan, would have phased expenditure of R3bn over six years, as opposed to the original plan for R4,5bn over four years.

Mr Stuiver said the upgrading of the plants would be sufficient to increase capacity in the Western Cape by 50% until 2016. “The upgrade plan would allow PPC to increase its capacity with lower impact on the surrounding communities and at a lower capital outlay,” he said.

PPC said the expansion would not lead to any job losses, as labour would be absorbed into existing production lines.

It said in May that it had felt the effects of the recession and the slump in the residential property market.

PPC has 12 operating sites, in SA, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Last modified on Monday, 08 July 2013 20:13

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