HARARE – Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) says electrical energy performance at its Bulawayo and Harare milling facilities for the year ended 31 March 2023 (FY23), regressed owing to a 50% decline in clinker imports and issues with grinding efficiency.
In FY23, thermal energy consumption in PPC Zimbabwe improved by 5.6%.
“The baghouse and bucket elevator installation at Colleen Bawn was completed and has contributed significantly to improved thermal and electric energy consumption,” the company said in its FY23 annual report.
“Interventions in Q4 of FY23 have shown improved performance levels which will be sustained in FY24.”
Compared to grid power, renewable energy offers net current savings.
“At Colleen Bawn and the Bulawayo factory in Zimbabwe, the tender process to install a 30 MW solar PV plant was finalised and approved by the board,” the cement maker said.
“Generation licences have been approved and issued, and site clearance is completed and ready for construction.”
Chief executive officer Roland van Wijnen said the country remains a robust market despite some economic challenges.
“We took a relatively long operational stop to ensure our operations in the country are future-proof and improved from an environmental standpoint. The plant is now performing well from both an output and cost-per-tonne perspective,” he said.
“We knew our EBITDA would be reduced due to this operational stoppage. We have since stepped up production and reclaimed market share, and we anticipate EBITDA to meet or exceed FY22 levels in FY24.”
With the regulator in Zimbabwe, who recognises the value of a robust domestic sector, he said they continue to have positive interactions.
“We also engage with the government on the regulation of imports. Power stability and availability are growing concerns, and we are conversing with the electricity producer and government,” he said.
“The recent installation of new capacity will hopefully alleviate some of these issues.”