Business and Technology

Chinese Companies Cement US$1 Billion Deal With Zimbabwe

Chinese companies, West International Holding Limited and Labenmon Investors (Pvt) Limited have signed a US$1 billion agreement to boost cement and building materials production in Zimbabwe.

The deal involves the creation of a modern industrial park dedicated to manufacturing cement, glass, and high-calcium white ash. The investment will be carried out in two phases over 24 months. The initial phase includes constructing a building materials industrial park in Karoi, Mashonaland West Province, with a new cement production line capable of producing 1.8 million tonnes annually.

During the signing ceremony, Wang Fayin, the president of West International Holding Limited, highlighted the economic benefits the project would bring to Zimbabwe. He said:

The industrial park is planned to have a new dry-process clinker cement production line with an annual capacity of 2.7 million tonnes, equipped with a 100 MW power generation unit and a cement grinding station with an annual capacity of 900,000 tonnes.

Upon full completion of the project, the cement production capacity will exceed 2 million tonnes, effectively solving the local demand gap for cement and filling the gap in the market for high-quality cement and high-calcium white ash.

At the same time, it will reduce the foreign exchange expenditure caused by the import of clinker and white ash while meeting the demand for infrastructure construction, industrial smelting and agricultural development.

In addition, the project will create more than 5,000 jobs for the local community and contribute to the national economic development of Zimbabwe.

The overall construction of the project closely follows the four themes of intelligence, environment protection, green and technology, and with the Group’s technical strength and business philosophy of industry-leading, casting high-quality products.

In the next step, the project office will formulate a detailed construction plan, promote the project procedures and qualifications in an orderly manner in compliance with Zimbabwean national laws and regulations.

West International Holding Limited, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-listed company West China Cement, has previously made similar investments in other African countries such as Uganda, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Zimbabwe experienced a cement shortage in 2023, leading to higher prices and stalled some construction projects. A bag of cement used to cost around US$10.50 but prices shot to between US$15 to US$18 per bag, making cement unaffordable for many. Construction companies had to double their prices, causing some projects to halt. The government then allowed the duty-free import of cement, but few could afford it due to a shortage of foreign currency in the country.

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