German cement firm opens factory in Namibia
German firm Schwenk Zement KG inaugurated a Euro 252 million ($343 million) factory in Namibia. "It is the most modern cement plant in Africa and shows our commitment to economic development in Namibia and Africa," Gerhard Hirth, Chief Executive, Schwenk Zement KG, said. The factory, located some 400 km (250 mile) northwest of the capital Windhoek, is expected to employ up to 300 people and produce 700,000 tonne of cement a year. Approximately 300,000 tonne is expected to be consumed locally and the remaining would be exported to neighbouring countries like Angola, Botswana and the DRC, said the company. "The complete value chain will be done in Namibia from mining the limestone on site to the packaging of cement bags under the name Ohorongo Cement," Hirth added. Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba, who attended the opening of the factory, said, "The investment would lure other foreign investors to our country." About half of the investment capital was financed through loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB), Deutsche Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). Schwenk Zement KG is a family-run business with cement plants in Germany, Oman, Hungary and Bosnia.