PPC opens new facility in Deal Party

PPC staff, from left, plant engineer Johan Coetzee, coastal unit business head Johan Vorster and area Eastern Cape sales manager Barry Jacobs survey the company's new clinker offloading facility in Deal Party, Port Elizabeth.
PPC staff, from left, plant engineer Johan Coetzee, coastal unit business head Johan Vorster and area Eastern Cape sales manager Barry Jacobs survey the company's new clinker offloading facility in Deal Party, Port Elizabeth.
Image: Eugene Coetzee

The Port Elizabeth material landing facility for SA's largest cement producer is open for business.

This is according to PPC coastal business unit head Johan Vorster.

He was speaking during a tour of the R60m facility on Tuesday which was commissioned in August.

About a dozen customers were invited on the tour of the new facility in Deal Party.

The development comes after PPC retired one of its kilns — known as “the old lady” — in June.

This was due to stricter environmental regulations, which state that kiln emissions of gaseous pollutants need to be below 50mg/Nm3 (milligrams per normal cubic metre) by July 1.

“We are open for business, but just doing things differently,” Vorster said.

He said with the closure of the kiln, the clinker was now brought in by rail from the company’s slurry factory in the North West.

The clinker is then ground to a fine powder and used as a binder in the company’s cement products.

The facility also packages the cement which is then transported to customers.

Vorster said the 44 people who worked at the facility were all local residents.

Plant engineer Johan Coetzee said it handled about 400 tons of clinker an hour.

PPC also operates in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.

In its operational update published at the end of August, cement sales for the company fell by about 10% for the first part of the year in the Southern Africa region amid a lack of construction activity in SA and other countries.

This was largely due to an increase in cement imports which has continued to weaken demand for the local producer.

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