As part of its initiatives of supporting local industries and advocating for the use of local raw materials PPC Botswana has injected P600 million in coal purchase from Morupule Coal Mine to SA plant for cement production.
Speaking during a media plant tour today, the PPC’s Head of Business Unit Tuelo Botlhole stated that the cement manufacturing company acquires 230, 000 metric tons of coal worth P600 million annually for daily operational use. Some of the coal is transported to the PPC plant located in Slurry, South Africa.
“Our value creation goes beyond high quality products for the sure range which caters for major construction projects such as iTowers and Dikatlong dam to basic home use or general-purpose cement, we export coal for the value that exceeds BWP600 million per annum. Our close relationships with local industry players ensure the value is injected directly into the Botswana economy,” says Tuelo Botlhole the PPC Head of Market.
PPC Botswana’s relationship with Morupule Coal mine started in 27 years ago. PPC Botswana’s fly ash requirement for its production process was historically bought from Morupule A Power Station during the period 1995 – 2011. It was unfortunate when in 2011 Morupule A was decommissioned.
“The acquisition of raw materials locally is a huge boost for our production process and industry this will ensure that we have cement at all times and is readily available at your nearest retail outlet. Our collaboration with Morupule Plant also means that there will be employment creation across industries. This will be a boost to the Palapye community as it will boost its economy. The creation of employment across industries is something that we value and endorse at PPC Botswana.
We are excited about this move because it means that we are acquiring our raw materials locally which means our products will be faster. It also means that we have empowered a local entity, which will also open the door for other opportunities. At PPC Botswana we believe that buying local is the best way to be environmentally friendly while supporting local communities at the same time. By acquiring local raw materials, as consumers, we help stimulate the local economy, help create and retain valuable jobs, support families and strengthen community and culture,” said PPC Botswana Head of Business Unit Tuelo Botlhole.
The PPC Botswana Head of Business Unit also shared the difficulties that local cement producers are facing due to cement product dumping that is currently taking place in Botswana. He commented saying, “cement product dumping has been a concerning problem in our industry. As cement industry players, we have been concerned by the amount of cement dumping by regional and international industry players who do not add value to the local economy, through skills development CSI, local value chains and employment.
This has even contributed to some industry players losing business and shutting down operations leading to mass unemployment which is also a burden to the economy. In the last couple of years, PPC Botswana recognized a decline in its market share in Botswana. This is because the cement market has been penetrated by foreign cement manufacturers. The argument has always been that local cement manufacturers play a vital role in the local economy by creating employment and the usage of local raw materials. Whereas on the other hand, regional and international cement manufacturers dump their cement products in local retail outlets and sell them at a very low price. Which is unfair competition as they do not even create value in the local economy.”
Over the years PPC Botswana has played a huge role in the development of Botswana. The PPC cement was used in the construction process of several iconic structures such as the Mohembo Bridge, Obed Itani Chilume Stadium, Dikgatlhong Dam and Boatle-Game City road to mention a few.