South Africa’s biggest cement maker seeks expansion into new markets

South Africa’s biggest cement maker, PPC Limited is looking at expanding into new markets after two years in turmoil that affected its business.

“We had to steady the ship and make it sustainable. Now we need to get a new pipeline of projects, ” Chief Executive Officer, Johann Claassen said in an interview with Bloomberg.

This comes after PPC invested R12 billion ($995 million) to set up five plants in several countries including Ethiopia and South Africa, over a five-year period.

Though PPC did not state the countries where they intend to expand into, Mokate Ramafoko, PPC’s head of Africa operations  however, noted that East Africa is a fast-growing region and there is a growing rate of projects in Ivory Coast that would guarantee an increase in the demand of Cement in the West African country. Ramafoko also added that Kenya has a shortage of cement clinker plants and Uganda also looks promising, with a new project coming up.

According to Bloomberg, this expansion plan is a huge step in the strategy of PPC, which raised R4 billion from shareholders in 2016 to service debt after S&P Global Ratings cut its credit rating to junk. 

The company also sees the potential for growth both in South Africa and internationally as it seeks to repay shareholders for the faith shown in raising funds to clear its service debt.

“There’s an emergence of African leaders that are really starting to change the continent,” Ramafoko noted, as he revealed that African countries including South Africa, Ghana and Zimbabwe are all working towards setting up new infrastructural projects that would be of benefit to cement makers.