Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
THE disruptive Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the prolonged delays in finalising the deal between ZimCoke and the now defunct steel giant, Zisco.
The infectious disease has also frustrated talks between Zisco and its Chinese investors that is supposed to pave way for the ZimCoke deal.
ZimCoke Private Limited purchased coke ovens within the Ziscosteel plant in a US$225 million deal and was scheduled to commence production early this year.
The revival of Zisco has suffered numerous setbacks in the past.
These include the US$750 million deal with Essar Africa, which collapsed in 2013 as a result of bickering during the inclusive Government. The Government later engaged a Hong Kong headquartered steel producing company, R and F, which proposed a US$1 billion investment two years ago but the deal is yet to take shape.
In an interview, ZimCoke special advisor, Mr Eddie Cross said the deal was still on but was hinged on the success of the Zisco investment deal.
“Everything has been slowed down by the delay in concluding the Zisco deal. A Chinese company has shown interest in investing in Zisco but the deal has taken longer than expected to conclude,” said Mr Cross.
He, however, said talks were underway between ZimCoke and R and F on the way forward.
“We are busy discussing how we can collaborate. The deal is coming on but I am just disappointed that we could have been on the ground two months ago. We need to get Zisco working again,” said Mr Cross.