GWERU — The Industrial Development Corporation’s cement manufacturing unit, Sino-Zimbabwe, says it has increased its clinker production capacity by 40% to 700 tonnes per day after upgrading its plant at a cost of $4,1 million.
General manager Derrick Moyo said the plant upgrade was the first of three phases that would largely automate the manufacturing process at the Gweru-based cement maker.
The second phase, also due for completion this year, will upgrade warehousing and storage facilities with further upgrade work planned for 2014.
“The overall refurbishment and upgrade has seen the plant becoming high-tech plant whose demand for manual manpower has been significantly reduced while the requirement of highly technical staff has increased,” Moyo said in response to questions on the company’s operations.
He said the automation would lead to the loss of employment for 59 semi-skilled workers, although 54 skilled personnel would be hired to maintain the plant.
Moyo said apart from increasing production capacity, the new equipment would also improve the company’s energy consumption as well as reduce carbon emissions from the factory.
“The upgrade on the rotary kiln will now see the company improve on its energy consumption and reduce its carbon footprint. We expect to see an improvement in our competitiveness as a result of this upgrade,” he said.
Sino-Zimbabwe is a joint venture company between the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe and China Building Materials Corporation which started operating in 2001.
It is the third cement manufacturer in the country after PPC in Bulawayo and Lafarge in Harare.