NRZ takes up import substitution challenge

02 Aug, 2022 - 00:08 0 Views
NRZ takes up import substitution challenge Mr Martin Banda

The Chronicle

Sikhulekelani Moyo, Business Reporter
THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has set focus on substituting imports through domesticating critical engineering services under its Integrated Rail Technologies (Inter Rail Tech) arm.

Some of the products produced by the National Railways of Zimbabwe’s Inter Rail Tech unit

The firm’s engineering services unit provides internal services to the parent company and also manufactures mining equipment spares for small-gscale and established mining businesses.

NRZ participated at the recent Mining, Engineering and Transport (Mine Entra) Exhibition in Bulawayo where it showcased its diversified services.

Company spokesperson, Mr Martin Banda, said the integrated rail technologies unit consists of different engineering departments capable of providing solutions to challenges faced by local industries, including miners.

He said the section previously provided engineering solutions for NRZ rail operations only but their activities have been expanded to take outside jobs.

“It has been noted that there is a need for industries and miners to work together, which will result in cutting down on looking for talent and engineering components out of the country,” said Mr Banda.

“The components that were on display at the Mine Entra were manufactured in various shops, which include rewinding shop, tool room, plater welder’s shop, black smith shop and bridge yard.”

Mr Banda said the diversified unit can save the country and miners the much-needed foreign currency by manufacturing spares locally and at competitive prices.

He said mining spares, which can be manufactured by Inter Rail Tech at its massive mechanical workshops include sleave wheels, cocopan wheels, rollers for conveyors, nuts, flanges, crane wheels and non-standard bolts.

The company also offers repair of heavy mining equipment such as jaw crushers and says it has the expertise to rewind motors and generators.

“Inter Rail Tech has, since its establishment, close to five years ago, clinched a number of contracts to supply spares to established mining companies in the country,” said Mr Banda.

“The rail entity’s new brand, Inter Rail Tech, was established in 2017 to unlock NRZ engineering expertise.”

The NRZ Mechanical Workshops are among the largest in Zimbabwe and are equipped with machinery to do most jobs required by various industry segments.

During the Mine Entra conference there was intense debate on how to localise mining supplies after it emerged that out of the sector’s US$3 billion order book per year, 80 percent was from imports.

Under the National Development Strategy (NDS1), the Government has pitched import substitution as one of the key targets for the manufacturing sector.

To that end, President Mnangagwa has said the manufacturing sector should take advantage of several initiatives by the Government to reduce import dependency and boost local production.

Zimbabwe’s industry is on recovery mode, riding on the back of efforts by the Government to create a stable operating environment through initiatives such as the foreign currency auction system.

— @SikhulekelaniM1

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