Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
THE process to select an investor that will resuscitate the defunct Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Zisco) has started and the successful investor is expected to be on the ground by December.
Zisco public relations manager, Ms Patricia Muzenda, said the company’s board of directors will select the investor from a list of shortlisted potential investors.
Zisco ceased operations at the height of hyper-inflation in 2008 and since then, efforts to revive the company have suffered false starts.
Industry and Commerce Minister, Dr Sekai Nzenza, is on record saying the Government is determined to ensure the defunct steel giant is revived this year.
“A number of potential investors have responded and an adjudication process has commenced. The adjudication process will result in the shortlisting of potential investors by the board of directors on the recommendation of the executive management team after which an investor conference will be held,” said Ms Muzenda.
She said after the selection, the successful candidate is expected to carry out a due diligence on Ziscosteel and its subsidiaries before committing resources for its resuscitation.
When it ceased operations, Zisco was using outdated batch production hence a new investor is expected to rebuild all processing plants to switch to the now standard continuous production process.
Ziscosteel still has other infrastructure and assets that have value that will allow a faster resumption of production.
Two Chinese investors are investing in new steel mills and mines in other parts of the country with the Zisco revival efforts set to bring on board a third player.
Meanwhile, the ongoing asset forensic audit at the company is nearing completion with most of the assets having been accounted for.
The Government embarked on a forensic audit at the defunct steel plant to ascertain the losses amid reports of looting of assets by a well-orchestrated group comprising of former employees and security guards.
“Most assets have been identified through an asset audit that was recently carried out and the assets register is being updated accordingly,” said Ms Muzenda in a statement.
She said the issue of security at the plant has been addressed through engaging a number of security officers and providing them with the required resources such as firearms and motor cycles for patrolling around the premises.
“Theft and vandalism of equipment has been reduced significantly during the last six months,” said Ms Muzenda.