GWERU — Sino Zimbabwe Cement Company (SZCC) is set to introduce a new cement product called Ordinary Portland Cement with a strength of 42,5 for the construction of tall structures, bridges and roads in the first quarter of this year.
The Gweru-based cement manufacturer, a joint venture between the Industrial Development Corporation and China Building Materials Corporation (CBMC), already has masonry cement (22,5) which is recommended for all masonry work, brick, mortar, plastering and general building and portland composite (32,5) cement which is used for construction of high strength structures.
Wang Yong, SZCC managing director, told the Financial Gazette’s Companies & Markets that the firm was now awaiting certification from the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) before they could make the product available on the market.
“We have already applied for the licence for us to introduce the cement type 42, 5 on the market and I believe it will be issued after SAZ, which has already collected some samples, has certified the product,” he said.
“I am hopeful that in the first quarter of this year everything will be in place and the product can be put on the market,” he added.
SZCC is banking on infrastructure development deals signed between President Robert Mugabe and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Xinping, such as the refurbishment of Hwange Power Station, construction of the Kariba Hydro-Power Project and the dualisation of the Harare-Beitbridge Highway.
These projects will require large amounts of cement.
The introduction of the new cement product, also produced by rival and Zimbabwe’s largest cement manufacturer, Pretoria Portland Cement, comes after the SZCC raised its storage capacity following the construction of two silos and the installation of two automated packing machines last year at a cost of US$2 million.
The silos increased storage capacity of cement stock to 10 000 tonnes while the packers doubled the capacity of cement being discharged per day from 1500 tonnes per day to 3000 tonnes per day.
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