Business

RDA, Ndola lime to set up cement plant

ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
THE Road Development Agency (RDA) and Ndola Lime intend to set up a cement factory in Ndola to help reduce the price of the commodity.
Zambia has experienced massive infrastructure development in both private and public sectors thereby the demand for cement has significantly increased.
RDA chief executive officer Bernard Chiwala said the agency in partnership with the lime firm will soon conduct a feasibility study for a cement plant.
Mr Chiwala said with the current high prices of cement, it was difficult for works to move at a faster rate hence the establishment of a plant that will enable the treasury save resources as Government has embarked on construction of concrete roads which do not require frequent overhaul.
“This week, we will be signing a contract to ensure that we prepare a bankable document for the establishment of a cement plant in Ndola. “The intention is to ensure that all the resources for road works are from within and that way it will help us in reducing on the importation of bitumen,” Mr Chiwala told the expanded committee on estimates in Parliament on the 2015 national budget on Monday.
In his submission, he wondered why the price of cement is expensive in Zambia compared to other countries in the region.
Mr Chiwala said cement is a major ingredient in the construction of roads hence the need to make the commodity easily available and cheap if progress is to be achieved in the construction sector.
“We have done all the procurement and we are just waiting for the annual general meeting by the end of the week [and] once we get consent then, we will begin the study to prepare a bankable document on which we will raise money to set up the cement factory,” he said.
Although in the initial, concrete roads could be seen to be expensive, its durability is longer.
Mr Chiwala also said RDA is hopeful that fuel levy payments will be remitted to National Roads Fund Agency in time so that there are no delays in the payments to constractors.


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