While most Hydraform clients are NGOs or governments looking for affordable, quality building solutions, some clients are commercial operations that use the technology to get a competitive edge. One such is Yo Limba Block & Bricks Limited.
According to MD Alistair McGlashan, Yo Limba presently makes and sells 6-inch and 8-inch blocks, lintels, bricks and pavers – all of which are manufactured on its Hydraform V3 Hydraulic Conventional Brick machines. The firm is also seriously considering manufacturing other products for which it has the capability on their Hydraform machines with a simple change of moulds. The company
uses a mix of quarry dust, quarry stone, Lafarge Supaset and Chryso Chemical additives to produce their range of cement products. “All our products are tested and certified on an ongoing basis by the Lafarge Test Lab in Chilanga, Lusaka,” says Alistair.
Yo Limba has enjoyed significant success in supplying construction projects where the key is being able to meet the demand for large orders. Where previously this may have put a strain on Yo Limba’s resources, now, thanks to the acquisition of the newly launched Hydraform V4 model, this is no longer a problem.
According to McGlashan, the new machine has reduced the need for labour, increased production volumes and, consequently, improved the businesses margins. Indeed, a single V4 hydraulic paving- and blockmaking machine requires only two operators and can produce up to 15 000 stock bricks in a single day. One Yo Limba project that is presently still in progress is Makeni Mall, the largest shopping mall in Zambia, where Yo Limba has been contracted to produce three million blocks.
Another project recently completed involved the production of 100 000 blocks, which were used to construct a new hospital and clinic. A similar-sized project for a Lusaka businessman saw Yo Limba manufacturing another 100 000 blocks. These were used to build a storage unit complex.
A potentially massive project for the BBATA Consortium also called for production of 100 000 blocks. These were used to build 10 show units for an affordable housing development that is expected to comprise around 1 000 houses when completed.
There have been many other major projects over the years, and from Alistair’s perspective, each new one provides another reference site he can use. Business is good in Zambia, he says – very good.