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Commissioning of Ethiopia plant to begin soon

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World Cement,

Construction of PPC’s new cement plant in Ethiopia is at an “advanced stage”, according to a recent trading update, with saleable cement production expected by 2Q17.

PPC is investing US$170 - US$180 million in the new plant, which is located 35 km northwest of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital. The plant will have annual production capacity of 1.4 million t of cement and has been supplied by China's Northern Heavy Industries Group.

Construction of the electrical infrastructure is now complete and the national utility company was expected to begin testing the system in early February. After power is available onsite, the kiln will be fired and hot commissioning can begin.

"Due to its large population size and mature cement market, Ethiopia has a large number of personnel with experience in running large cement plants," the company told World Cement. "There are currently over 100 locals employed [at the site]. This number will increase as construction on the plant and the local team takes over operations."

This marks a "pivotal" year for PPC, the company said, as it focuses on bringing its existing projects online. In addition to its Ethiopia plant, the company is also in the final stages of bringing a new plant online in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is also building a new production line at its Slurry cement plant in South Africa. The company also recently announced that it was in talks with rival South African cement maker, AfriSam, about a potential merger.

First published 10 February. Update includes further project details.

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