Mamba Cement is one of South Africa’s newest entrants into the competitive cement industry following the completion of a R1.6 billion state-of-the-art new cement production facility near Northam in Limpopo Province.
The latest technology and energy efficiency obtained through a unique waste heat recovery system positions the Mamba Cement plant as one of the lowest-cost producers in the local industry. These cost advantages are being leveraged to gain market share from competitors that rely on decades-old technology and facilities. The plant is also in close proximity to the core inland cement market in South Africa.
The story behind the creation of Mamba Cement typifies WIPHOLD’s long-term investment strategy and willingness to adopt a considered, informed approach to investment decisions. We are a significant shareholder in this new venture with a 23.9% stake, along with African Rhino Cement and Continental Cement. African Rhino Cement is a joint venture between the state-owned China-Africa Development Fund and long-time WIPHOLD partner Jidong Cement, the largest cement producer in north China.
This relationship dates back to 2006 when an exclusive distribution and cooperation agreement was signed through which Jidong assigned us the rights to distribute its products.
Our distribution solution proved to be an auspicious start to a long-term relationship that enabled us to gain a closer understanding of the industry and local and neighbouring markets. Based on this experience and the opportunity to invest in a new, low-cost cement plant in Limpopo, Jidong was the natural choice as a shareholder and technical partner. Jidong’s position as a leading manufacturer of cement plant in addition to being a cement producer makes for an exciting investment opportunity.
Our long-term investment horizon is evident not only in our commitment to Mamba Cement’s future prospects but also in the five-year project development cycle. The conceptualisation of the new plant was announced in 2010, with production commencing in November 2015. The cement project was also the first project of its kind to be funded on a limited recourse project finance basis.
Investment name: Mamba Cement
Rationale for the investment: To participate meaningfully in the cement value chain