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South Africa’s PPC eyes Ethiopia cement sector after DRC restructuring, CEO says

By David Whitehouse
Posted on Wednesday, 19 May 2021 18:14

Undersupply of cement in Ethiopia is prompting companies such as South Africa's PPC to seek to increase their presence. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

South African cement producer PPC wants to invest in current and new markets after a restructuring ended its liability for debts at its PPC Barnet business in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), CEO Roland van Wijnen tells The Africa Report.

The company is seeking a co-investor to expand its capacity in Ethiopia, where it already has a stake in Habesha Cement, van Wijnen says from Johannesburg. The operation is “performing well” but fresh capital will be needed to expand, van Wijnen says.

Existing cement production in Ethiopia is outstripped by demand. In 2019, domestic producers supplied about 8.9m tonnes of the 12m tonnes needed, according to the Chemical and Construction Inputs Development Institute.