SEPHAKU, the newest big entrant to the Southern African cement markets since the 1930s, will present its interim results for the six months to September later this month.

It has signed up significant domestic debt funding for its R3.4bn cement plant and grinding facility project across two provinces.

In a press release last month it said its state of the art cement milling plant in Delmas, Mpumalanga, was powering up. An Eskom substation at the plant has been switched on, and the facility’s primary electrical room is connected. Power distribution to the entire plant, down to the level of equipment, will be done this month and next. But when actual production of cement will start, still needs to be clarified.

Sephaku Cement was established in 2006. It is an associate company of Sephaku Holdings, which listed on the JSE in 2009. Sephaku Cement is a 64%-owned subsidiary of Dangote Cement Plc, Nigeria’s largest cement manufacturer. At 10-million tonnes a year, its Obajana plant in Nigeria’s Kogi state is the largest producer in sub-Saharan Africa — almost big enough to provide South Africa’s current 12-million tonnes a year demand.

Dangote Cement’s website says it is investing more than $4bn into expanding its production and import capacity to about 50-million tonnes a year by the end of 2015.

South Africa has plenty of spare cement capacity at present, but the promise of trillions of rand of infrastructure spend both in South Africa and the Southern African Development Community is driving the industry.

BDLive, November 08 2013
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