A worker at PPC Cement in Cleveland, Johannesburg. File picture: Supplied
JOHANNESBURG - PPC, the listed cement and lime producer, improved its liquidity position by rescheduling the debt related to its new cement factory in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In tandem with this, PPC secured a two-year capital repayment moratorium.

The company said on Friday this meant the total capital requirements for PPC Barnet DRC would be limited to interest payments from this month up to January 2020.

PPC owns 69 percent of PPC Barnet DRC, with its local partner, Barnet Group, owning 21 percent, while the International Finance Corporation (IFC) owns 10 percent.

The new 1 million-tons-a-year cement plant near Kimpese in the Kongo Central Province in the DRC cost about $300 million to build and was 60 percent project-debt-funded by the IFC and Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB).

Tryphosa Ramano, the chief financial officer of PPC, said the rescheduling of the group's debt in the DRC was a major achievement in handling PPC’s capital structure.

“The rescheduling of debt firstly reduces the capital requirements by PPC Barnet DRC from PPC. Second, it will improve cash flows for the DRC business, which will allow the business additional liquidity during this ramp up-phase.”

Johan Claassen, the interim chief executive, said in November the DRC plant had been completed and was being tested and commissioned.

Shares in PPC rose 2.32 percent on the JSE on Friday to close at R7.93.

- BUSINESS REPORT