US$1 billion building materials plant investment on the cards


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Wang Fayin and Huo Wencai signing the cooperative agreement.

By Lloyd Rabaya

Chinese companies West International Holding (WIH) and Labenmon Investments are planning on jointly undertaking a US$1 billion project for constructing cement and building materials plant in Mashonaland West Province’s Magunje.

 This came out today when the companies signed a cooperation agreement for the project before commencing the work in line with their set target of completing it in 24 months.

Labenmon Investments Chairman Huo Wencai said the project will not only promote Zimbabwe’s economic development and strengthen its infrastructure but will also ensure environmental safety and employees’ welfare.

“The two parties have jointly decided to undertake a US$1 billion project in the scenic Magunje region, which includes the construction of a 2.7 million tons per annum cement plant and a 100-megawatt power plant, as well as the construction of a 900 000 tons per annum cement grinding station in Bulawayo,” he said.

The company has also invested in nickel and gold mining in the country, which are also foreign-currency generators.

Last year November, Zimbabwe was hit by a shortage of cement which created high demand and exorbitantly putting the price at US$20.00 for one 50kg bag due to the high production and transportation costs.

Government then put in place measures that allow for companies and individuals to import a maximum of five tons of cement without an import license until 31 December 2023 to allow for the dust to settle.

Wang Fayin, President of West International Holding (WIH) applauded the Zimbabwean government for making moves to urbanize communities by making policies that are favorable to investors.

“Zimbabwe possesses a stunning natural environment, abundant mineral resources, and vast market potential. In recent years, the Zimbabwean government has made significant strides and remarkable achievements in the progress of urbanization by continuously refining investment policies and optimizing the business environment to stimulate rapid economic development.

The brisk demand for cement and building materials, immense market potential, and dynamic growth prospects in infrastructure have profoundly attracted and strengthened the determination of West International Holding to invest in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Fayin also said once the project is complete, it will undoubtedly solve the local cement demand and fill the gap in the market for high-quality cement and high-calcium white-ash.

“At the same time, it will reduce the foreign exchange expenditure caused by the import of clinker and white ash while meeting the demand for infrastructure construction, industrial smelting and agricultural development,” he added.

West International Holding Limited is a subordinate of the Hong-Kong-listed company, West China Cement Limited, which is a multinational company that produces and sells cement and building materials.

The building materials giant has, over the years, invested in the Central Asian region and African countries including Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Mozambique, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The investors are looking forward create at least 5 000 jobs thereby contributing to Zimbabwe’s economic development.

Cement contributes 7% of the world’s carbon emissions and China is the largest producer of cement in the world.