New Zimbabwe Steel (formerly Ziscosteel) will not be resuming operations soon as new equipment should first be installed to replace the existing machinery, which is now obsolete, a Cabinet minister has said.
Industry and Commerce Minister Professor Welshman Ncube said the Government had appointed a committee to oversee implementation of a plan to operationalise the steelmaking giant.
The committee comprises officials from Essar Africa, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
Essar Africa bought a controlling stake in Ziscosteel for US$750 million two years ago although a number of sticking issues have left the deal hanging in the balance since then.
Prof Ncube said the implementation team was currently on the ground to quantify the requirements for full operation of the plant.
"We are building a new plant. We have to put a new blast furnace, an oxygen plant, coke ovens so that we can talk of the resumption of operations at the former Ziscosteel," he said adding that procurement of the materials required at the plant was underway.
Resumption of operations at the New Zimbabwe Steel Limited would reinforce Government's commitment to the deal which is ranked among the largest investments in the country since the 2009.
Ziscosteel, once the biggest integrated steelworks in Africa, folded operations in 2008 after experiencing serious viability problems.