Local construction companies unhappy over new PPC plant
PPC is under fire from local construction companies that have accused it of side lining them in the construction of a new cement plant in Ruwa, Zimbabwe,
in favour of foreign companies, reports All Africa.
According to ‘inside sources,’ local companies submitted bids, but these were rejected due to a directive from the cement company’s head office to side line local companies and renegotiate a new contract with the main contractor, China’s Sinoma International Engineering. The Chinese company was already undertaking construction works at the cement plant.
Sources have said that since the beginning of construction, no projects have been awarded to local firms, which claim to have the same technical ability and expertise as the foreign companies.
Another source said that a Chinese workforce drove the whole construction project being executed by Sinoma, which was against the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio- Economic Transformation Agenda’s goal of creating jobs.
PPC managing director Njombo Lekula said: “We engaged the Chinese in an EPCM arrangement and the contractor is the one that knows how to execute the project. Right now, Sinoma employs 60 locals, which I think is a large number.
“The contractor will provide all the materials required, but we told them that we need a quarter of local supply as well. The claims are baseless considering that we contracted JR Goddard construction to do our road and sewer reticulation works for US$700,000,” said Lekula.
He added that the company would continue to empower local companies and suppliers. For example, an indigenous company has been awarded a contract to for all rail infrastructure at the plant at a contract value of about US$3m.
PPC expects to complete the construction of its 1Mt/yr capacity cement plant in the first half of 2016 with an investment of about US$86m of the total US$200m having been paid to date.
The investment package is set to aid setting up another plant in Mashonaland Central. PPC is also building a separate grinding facility in Mozambique’s Tete Province.