President Emmerson Mnangagwa commissioned a US$2,8 million dry mortar mix plant which will expand the range and quantities of raw materials suitable for the latest building technologies along with additional lime for agriculture and water treatment.
The new dry mortar mix plant which was sourced from Turkey, is the largest of its kind in Southern Africa, and is the first such plant installed in any LafargeHolcim operation in Africa, putting Zimbabwe into a continental leading position.
Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe is a member of Switzerland-based LafargeHolcim.
The plant is capable of producing mortar for Lafarge’s new technology, what it calls 3D Printing, which will increase the speed of construction by up to 70 percent as compared to conventional methods while costs would go down by 40 percent.
Through this technology, a house can be constructed in 12 hours. The 3D printer is expected in the third quarter of the year through a subsidiary of LafargeHolcim called 14 Trees.
“Consequently this will have far reaching impact on the attainment of targets set out in National Development Strategy 1 with regards to community based infrastructure development under devolution.
“The construction of housing units, modernisation and upgrading of our ports of entry and other social service infrastructure will also be timely completed,” President Mnangagwa said.
President Mnangagwa noted that the completion of other projects like the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme, dam construction, housing delivery, provision of social amenities, work spaces for SMES among others would also be expedited with the new range of materials now produced locally instead of being imported.
The investment the President said, would see an increase in the country’s exports in light of the adoption of the African Continental Free Trade Area. Almost all raw materials at Zimbabwe’s Lafarge are local so the rules of origin would allow the free trade exports.
“These investments by Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe are indeed ground breaking and dovetail with my administration’s call to adopt and adapt innovation and technology in all sectors,” President Mnangagwa said.
Speaking at the commissioning of the plant Country Chief Executive of Lafarge Precious Murena Nyika said the plant has seen Lafarge growing its capacity from 7000 tonnes per annum to 100 000 tonnes.
“It was a big and proud moment as we celebrated the official commissioning of the Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe Dry Mortar Plant today.
“We are particularly thriller about the new range of Dry Mix Mortar products we will be launching into the market covering tile adhesives, plastering mortars and rendering mortars,” Nyika said.
With this new plant, the company has greater latitude to innovate in new product solutions that will redefine construction into the future.
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