9 March 2010

Publication: Business Day
Author: Edward West

SEPHAKU Cement, an 80,2%- held subsidiary of Sephaku Holdings, has appointed Nedbank Capital as lead arranger of the project finance facilities for new cement projects in the North West and Mpumalanga.

Sephaku Cement will be the biggest new entrant in SA’s cement market since 1934, with the total capital cost of two projects at R3,3bn, and project finance facilities likely to exceed R1,8bn.

Sephaku Cement CEO Pieter Fourie said yesterday the arranging mandate paved the way for funding the construction of the company’s Aganang project in North West , and the cement milling plant in Mpumalanga, the Delmas project.

“In March 2009 we entered into a full turnkey agreement for the Aganang and Delmas projects with Sinoma International Engineering Company of Beijing, the largest supplier of cement plants worldwide, on a fixed price basis.

“Five months later we completed the commissioning of a 1,2-million ton Fly Ash beneficiation plant at Kendal power station in Mpumalanga,” Fourie said yesterday.

Sephaku Holdings said on February 1 that it was in advanced negotiations with a global financial institution about an equity investment of about 40m in Sephaku Cement.

“It is indeed rare for a company to enter the market the way we did … our biggest strength is our intellectual capacity. We have an excellent contingent of cement professionals with significant experience in all areas of the industry,” he said.

Fourie said construction of the Aganang and Delmas projects would start in the next few months, with a target completion of the third quarter of 2012.

Sephaku Holdings is a minerals exploration, development and investment company, with a range of mining and exploration projects.