Fri, 24/11/2017 - 05:30
Current Issue 59
Cementing a Strong Future
In each bag of Shayona Cement Corporation’s nationally significant products, the Company not only sees construction quality, but a whole host of socially enriching enablers
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Vivek Valmiki
For the best part of 25 years, Shayona Cement Corporation has stayed true to its vision of realising the development potential of its native Malawi.
The Akshar and Buildplast Cement producer has made it a concerted goal since day one to contribute to the country’s infrastructural evolution, addressing the shortfall in cement supply which existed upon the Company’s inception. Now, with the country reliant on Shayona to cater for this supply, the business - via its manufacturing plant in the Kasungu District - has escalated its capacities from just 100 metric tonnes of production each day to much more than double that number.
“Shayona appreciates, so much, the support from captains of the construction industry so far rendered to us,” it states on its website. “The demand for our products has grown to unimaginable levels and this has led to Shayona taking about 25 percent of the cement market share in Malawi.”
With this original declaration coming as long as five years ago, the market share since has progressed to almost 50 percent as its multipurpose Akshar and Buildplast brands continue to solve the country’s biggest civil engineering challenges.
The Company continues: “Shayona Cement Corporation Ltd contributes significantly to the development of Malawi in various ways. Some of the most notable include: reducing unemployment levels in the country; saving foreign exchange through cement availability which would have been otherwise imported; revenue generation for the Malawi Government through direct and indirect taxes; providing a market for local raw materials suppliers and for various industries; helping household income generation for villagers around the factory by providing a market for their produce; and promoting the transport industry in Malawi through transporting our raw materials and cement.”
Best quality cement
Of course, overarching all of the above is Shayona’s primary ambition of facilitating Malawian development; infrastructural and otherwise.
Akshar Cement’s slogan epitomises this notion aptly in making “a priceless contribution to the building industry” and this has been epitomised by the product’s role in notable national projects including the Kamuzu Mausoleum, the Parliament building, and the Cross Roads Hotel, among numerous others.
And as the Company emphasises, this road to ultimate project delivery begins in the manufacturing plant and via extensive quality control practices: “At Shayona, we fully realise that the strength of any construction product is directly derived from the quality of materials used.
“In our view, poor quality of cement means a waste of all resources in a construction project. As we aim at contributing positively to the development of Malawi, we have deliberately chosen to go through a laborious process with an aim to bring the best quality cement brands to Malawi.”
A series of stringent analyses, monitoring and tests occur throughout the manufacturing process - and indeed the supply chain - to this end, ensuring consistency in its products’ quality. However, being an ultimately chemical product, the process begins in earnest in the Company’s fully-fledged laboratory among its cement chemists.
“At our factory, we have a well stocked laboratory to provide for quality assurance,” the Company states. “Limestone is analysed for total carbonate (TC); coal is tested; and clay is analysed for silica, aluminium, folic oxide, calcium carbonate and magnesium oxide.
“The above analysis is done using modernised equipment and the analysis results of these raw materials determine the mixing proportions to come up with a recommended raw meal for the kilns.”
A giant in cement manufacturing
Shayona Cement has long voiced its reluctance to take chances, instead opting for the most sustainable option in order to guarantee the best product and service for its valued customers.
In-keeping with this ethos, its state-of-the-art vertical shaft kilns (VSK) technology are matched by equally industry-leading personnel; made up of both locals and expatriates.
“The fine blending of our expatriate staff and local Malawians has made Shayona Cement Corporation Ltd what it has become today; growing into a giant in cement manufacturing,” the business says. “Our employees are the most valuable human resource capital which we cannot do without. Our success comes from the strength of our employees.”
Enrichment of employees consequently comes not just from ongoing training and up-skilling in line with new technologies, but also comes in the form of staff housing and on-site accommodation on a more societal front.
“Shayona deliberately chose to be an exception by providing accommodation to all our employees,” the Company continues. “As a responsible corporate citizen, Shayona is actively involved in this and numerous other social responsibilities in the community.”
CSR embraces aspects of education, health, community programmes, public service assistance and infrastructural upliftment; and will formulate a vast portion of the Corporation’s overall ambitions in the future.
“We plan to enhance the welfare of our employees by constructing proper houses for various categories of our employees, and to become the best employer in Malawi,” the Company concludes. “Additionally though, we plan to become the biggest cement manufacturer, meeting all cement needs in the country and exporting surplus to neighbouring countries, and also to be part of the Government’s commitment to the citizens of Malawi.
“At Shayona, we look at the future with great anticipation. We know we shall be there tomorrow but how do we want our tomorrow to be? We want to grow even bigger than what we are.”