A new cement company, Malawi Cement Products Limited (CPL), has started at Njereza in Mangochi with production capacity of 1 250 tonnes of cement a day.
CPL chairperson Aslam Gaffar described the new company, which rolled out last Friday, as a big boost to the construction in Malawi.
Gaffar said the new factory, with a capital investment of over K2 billion (about $8 million), will help the country cut its annual clinker import by $30 million and save 30 percent of its forex when fully integrated.
Â â€œWe are through with the first phase of the project which was to develop the factory. We combined the first phase and second phase because we wanted to move with speed in helping the country save forex,â€ said Gaffar.
Minister of Trade and Industry John Bande commended CPL for starting production, saying the move shows that the economy is picking up and that investors have confidence in the current administration.
â€œAs government, we will now be monitoring closely the issue of cement importation because we want to ensure that local companies are protected.
â€œIt is good that many local companies are now producing cement and as government, it will help us save forex,â€ said Bande.
CPL has employed 120 people and more employment will be created when its expansion drive is completed.
CPL is the third cement manufacturing company in Malawi. The other two are Shayona Cement Company and Lafarge, the market leader which boasts over 70 percent market share.
Lafarge, which closed its limestone mine at Changalume in Zomba after exhausting its reserves, imports clinker from Zambia and Zimbabwe.