14 February 2018

Zimbabwe: Zisco Investor to Up Production

Production at Zisco is set be twice what used to be produced when it reopens soon, Kwekwe town clerk Mr Emmanuel Musara has said.

Briefing the Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs Owen Ncube on his official visit to Kwekwe City Council on Monday, Mr Musara said the new Chinese investor expected to revive the steel plant had hinted that production at Zisco would be massive and that a bigger water treatment plant would be needed.

He said the new investor had since toured Kwekwe's water treatment plant and planned to expand it. Kwekwe used to supply water to Zisco and was owed $15 million when the giant steel company closed shop due to viability challenges about nine years ago.

Government has since quoted a new investor to revive the giant steel company which used to be one of the biggest steel works in Africa.

"Thank you Minister for visiting Kwekwe City Council to get first-hand information on our challenges as a local authority," said Mr Musara.

"Let me say as Kwekwe City, we are one of the most important local authority in the country given the fact that we are an authority tasked with supplying one of the biggest companies in the country with water.

"Zisco is one of the biggest companies in the country and when it opens we are supposed to be supplying them with water. Recently, we had a team of engineers from new investors at Zisco who told us that the revival of this giant company was imminent.

"They toured our water treatment plant and told us that it was too small in terms of what they intend to produce when they open the steel company."

Mr Musara said the new investor intended to expand the water treatment plant when they start operating. He appealed to Government to give Kwekwe City Council the necessary support as it was also strategic in the revival of Zisco.

Mr Musara said the local authority had often been given the burden of making sure that Zisco had treated water supplies without getting the necessary support from Government.

"We have a burden of supplying water and even if the new investor is to expand the water treatment plant, there is need for Government support, especially in servicing the $15 million that we are being owed as well as assisting us in getting water treatment chemicals, as preparatory work for Zisco's revival," he said. Mr Musara said the Kwekwe City was facing serious water challenges owing to shortage of water treatment chemicals. He said the country's sole supplier of the chemicals, Chemplex, did not have any in stock.

He urged Government to invite more players in the water chemicals industry. Minister Ncube said he would take the issue to the President so that there could be many players in the water treatment chemical industry.

"Under the new dispensation, President is saying we should be open for investment and I have noted with concern that there is a monopoly when it comes to the supply of water treatment chemicals in the country," he said.

"I will take it up to the President and make sure that this anomaly has been addressed." Minister Ncube reiterated that the revival of Zisco was imminent, adding that he would soon meet the Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Huang Ping to check on the progress of the project.

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