AfriSam has commissioned a new cement blending and packing facility in Maseru, Lesotho – the first cement manufacturing facility established in the country.
The plant is able to produce over 200 000 tons of bagged cement a year, which will meet the current local cement demand, while also being capable of producing specialised products for large infrastructure projects like the Lesotho Highlands Water scheme.
The main raw material for the plant, milled clinker, is railed to Maseru in bulk wagons from AfriSam’s Ulco facility near Kimberley. This is beneficiated with pulverised fuel ash (PFA) from Lethabo power station in the Free State. A sophisticated dual batch weighing system accurately doses the milled clinker and the mineral components to predetermined ratios in the manufacture of the different cement products.
The plant’s packing system is a 60 ton per hour, four spout in-line European design, utilised in series with a robotic arm palletiser, while two stretch-wrap machines cover the stacked cement bags with a waterproof cover.
According to AfriSam’s manager for strategic projects, Gavin Venter, environmental issues have been stringently addressed by equipping the plant with dust filters that prevent the generation of dust. Looking ahead, the company has plans for the plant to become a significantly larger cement manufacturing facility.
“AfriSam has already put plans in place to expand the current blending and packing facility to include a clinker grinding plant,” Venter says. “This will expand the cement manufacturing process at this facility and will lead to further opportunities and benefits for the people of Lesotho.”
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The packer – a 60 ton per hour, four spout in-line European design – is utilised in series with a robotic arm palletiser to pack and stack the cement bags.