Cheetah pounces on local clinker

14 March 2019 | Business

Chinese-backed cement factory Whale Rock Cement, the maker of Cheetah Cement, has started to source clinker locally for its products, after initially importing it from Egypt.

The company says it is also in the process of sorting out its quality accreditation, which when finalised will see it stand toe-to-toe with major cement producers including Ohorongo Cement.

This is according to Whale Rock Cement chairman Zedekias Gowaseb.

“The clinker we import was from Egypt; that is no secret,” he said. According to him, clinker was also now being sourced locally.

“From the December 2018 we have already started to produce clinker from the Whale Rock mine,” Gowaseb said.

Mining commissioner Erasmus Shivolo confirmed that Whale Rock's mine was operating legally.

“Of course yes, that is why they are mining legally,” he said when approached for comment.

Cheetah's cement products currently do not carry the Namibia Standards Institute (NSI) seal of approval or that of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), which indicates that its products have undergone rigorous stress testing.

“The Namibia Standards Institute and the South African Bureau of Standards are currently busy with the audit. We are busy with the process; the testing of samples will take another 45 working days. Therefore, we can only share that information after the testing,” Gowaseb said.

Gowaseb said despite these standards of approval their cement is accepted as a quality product by local contractors and brickmakers, who have been using the products.

Once its accreditation is finalised, Cheetah Cement will set its sets on exporting to several countries.

“We are looking at the southern Africa market; currently we busy expanding to Mozambique, Congo and Ivory Coast,” Gowaseb said.

This, he said, was bolstered by the market reaction Cheetah Cement is currently experiencing.

“So far the market has received us very well.”

Namibian Sun understands that new standards will gazetted soon for the cement industry.

“We sent them for gazetting. The NSI then becomes the implementer,” a source with insight on the matter said.

Production at Whale Rock Cement, which produces the Cheetah Cement brand, is 1.2 million tonnes per year, bringing the country's cement production capacity to 2.2 million tonnes per annum.


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