LAFARGE Zambia Plc will continue to be innovative and take a lead in implementing Government policies that promote diversification in the cement indu stry for the satisfaction of its customers in the country as well as neighbouring countries, company Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Rigaux has said.
He said his company’s decision to partner with Zambia Railways and the Congolese Railways to be carrying its cement to DRC was an indication that the company was ready to take a lead in implementing Government policies that promoted diversification in the cement industry for the satisfaction of the local customers as well as neighbouring countries to ensure that the industry played a leading role in the growth of non-traditional export.
Mr Rigaux was speaking yesterday at Lafarge Zambia Plc Ndola plant when he announced that his company had partnered with Zambia Railways and the Congolese Railways to be carrying its cement to DRC.
“Let me elaborate more on our market in DRC. We found that we needed to find a better way of sending our product straight to our DRC customers, more particularly the mines, It is through these efforts that we partnered with Zambia Railways and Congolese Railways to be carrying our cement to DRC.
“Our goal in 2016 is to load 400 tonnes per week and much more in 2017. By doing so, we are not only contributing to reinforcing Zambia’s export capacity, but we are also fully playing our role as a leader in the new green economy, as the Paris Conference which has just finished marks the beginning of a new era. A cleaner, safer and more efficient transport system is what we want to pioneer,” he said.
Mr Rigaux said by commissioning the new state of the art rail loading in Chilanga and in Ndola, Lafarge Zambia Plc, had become the only cement producer which was fully connected and could fully leverage its logistical advantage.
He said the company’s partnership with Zambia Railways enabled it to boost its exports and to take trucks off the road whilst generating key revenues in hard currency.
“The train that you are going to see in a short while is our 8th truck to the Congo. This is a true paradigm shift and a game changer for the industry. Just to give you a few numbers, we are planning to multiply by four the volumes of our exports into Congo, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
“We are railing far into Kasai as well as Livingstone, and have become the largest industrial user of rail in Zambia,” Mr Rigaux said
Earlier, Ndola plant manager Samba Katari said his company had spent £8 million on the expansion of a small grinding mill to improve the production capacity of cement.
He said, once completed, the new grinding mill would be producing 100,000 tonnes of cement annually.