Cement manufacturer, LafargeHolcim Malawi, has invested K305.4 million in a new roto packer, or bag filling machine to improve service delivery.
Initially, LafargeHolcim Malawi had two packers; a three spout inline packer which was packing 300 bags of cement per hour and a first generation six spout roto packer with capacity to pack 1 200 bags per hour.
The third generation roto packer, commissioned on Thursday in Blantyre, packs 1 800 bags per hour, according to the company’s managing director IIse Boshoff.
Speaking during the commissioning of the machine, Boshoff said the investment will help enhance efficiency especially now that the company is operating in a competitive environment.
“Realising the challenges which the three spout inline packer brought to the business, the company has replaced it with a six spout state-of-the-art third generation roto packer which has the capacity of packing 1 800 bags per hour or three times a 30- tonne truck in an hour,” she said.
Boshoff said the roto packer will ensure that a cement bag is delivered with full weight because of its self-weight correction mechanism.
She said apart from enhancing efficiency, the new technology is environmentally friendly since it reduces emissions.
In his remarks, LafargeHolcim Malawi chairperson Symon Msefula said while the company welcomes competition on the local market, its future is threatened due to imports of cement which has created uneven playing field.
Most of the imported cement are priced lower compared to those manufactured in Malawi.
Blantyre City mayor Noel Chalamanda, who was the guest of honour at the event, said the commissioning of the new machine shows the company is customer-oriented and development conscious.
He said the investment will enable the company to serve the local market with much more efficiency. n