AfriSam a major South African cement producer is planning to construct a R2.2 billion integrated cement plant in the Saldanha Bay area to meet future demand. The company with operations in South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland said that it wants to take advantage of its large limestone deposit near Saldanha, and improve market penetration in the Western Cape. "With continued population growth and the need for housing and infrastructure, there are indications that the local market will benefit from the presence of an additional cement supplier," said Stephan Olivier, chief executive officer, AfriSam. AfriSam is hoping that the proximity of Saldanha's deep water port will facilitate exports, and that means it can scale up the plant to achieve the environmental and production efficiency associated with large-scale international plants. AfriSam proposed Saldanha project will commence with the expansion of its nearby limestone quarry, and construction of a cement milling and packing plant at a cost of about R600m. In future, a fully fledged cement manufacturing plant will be built alongside at a further cost of about R1.6 billion.. So, this planned new production will more than likely be absorbed by new demand in coming years.