Honourable Minister of Industry and Commerce, MC Bimha, was the guest of honour at PPC Zimbabwe’s official ground-breaking event at the site of its new Msasa plant just outside Harare this week.

The company’s second manufacturing plant in the country, Msasa is expected to be commissioned in the second half of 2016 and will have a capacity of 700 000 tons.

Speaking at the ground-breaking event, Managing Director of PPC Zimbabwe Njombo Lekula outlined PPC’s vision for the new plant and the potential it will unlock in the region:

“PPC Zimbabwe is looking to the future of the country, with this event providing a promise of things to come. While our existing factory in Bulawayo has positioned us well in Matabeleland, it’s clear that much of our country’s future growth centres on Harare and northern Zimbabwe.

“PPC Msasa is being built in direct response to the opportunity we see in – and beyond – this region. PPC’s investment of over $80 million is a vote of confidence in the country’s future and an expression of our commitment to build, grow and contribute meaningfully to the national economy whilst delivering on local imperatives.”

The Msasa plant is being built to world-class standards and will feature bulk-handling and palletising capabilities such as those recently introduced at the Bulawayo factory.

Leveraging the scope of opportunities

While the Msasa plant is being built by Sinoma International Engineering, Lekula explained that PPC was engaging with numerous local suppliers to leverage the scope of opportunities on this project beyond the main engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) agreement.

“Because almost 70% of the total value of the EPCM is allocated to the supply of actual plant equipment, it was necessary for us to contract with a provider of the likes of Sinoma to ensure we create a world-class plant in and for the region,” said Lekula.

“Sinoma has contracted local labour as part of its workforce on the project, as well as meeting our non-negotiable local supply requirements.”

Local contractors that have already worked on the project include JR Goddard Construction, Ascon-Tencraft and HVC, among others.

In outlining the way forward for PPC Msasa beyond 2016, Lekula noted that PPC Zimbabwe is already a key player in the large infrastructure projects that are currently underway in the country, and is working hard to be involved in those still in the planning phase.