Freedom Mupanedemo, Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S sole Ammonium Nitrate fertiliser producer, Sable Chemicals will this year inject $25 million in revamping its plant and raise output to help the country reduce its fertiliser import bill.
The company’s chief executive officer Mr Bothwell Nyajeka said this while presenting a paper on the state of the firm during a tour of the plant by Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister, Senator Larry Mavima yesterday.
Mr Nyajeka said Sable Chemicals has come up with an investment road map that would see the company producing enough to meet the country’s fertiliser needs by 2024.
“Our road map is to reduce imports while at the same time prodcuing more to even export. Zimbabwe requires about 180 000 tonnes of AN annually but at the moment we can only produce 100 000 tonnes,” he said.
Mr Nyajeka however said the company has the capacity to expand and increase production to 240 000 tonnes thereby creating a surplus for export.
He said the company which all along has been producing just 25 percent of the country’s AN requirements, intends to increase the percentage to 60 percent this year.
“So what are we going to do to make sure that we produce all that is required by Zimbabwe in terms of AN? Our four-year plan starts with a target of 100 000 tonnes of AN in 2019 which will account for about 60 percent of the country’s annual requirement,” said Mr Nyajeka.
He said the company intends to invest $25 million between 2019 and 2020 which will boost production to 150 000 tonnes by 2020.
The company expects to increase production to 200 000 tonnes by 2021 and this will be further increased by 2023.
Mr Nyajeka said as part of their expansion programme, the company intends to produce its own raw materials.
“What we intend to do is to actually localise our source of Ammonium gas which we are importing from South Africa,” he said.
Mr Nyajeka said his company indirectly contributes to foreing currency earnings.
“Our AN fertiliser is used by tobacco, cotton and sugar cane farmers who produce for export and we also produce explosives for mines which export minerals,” said Mr Nyajeka.
The Government has a 36 percent stake in Sable chemicals while the remaining shares are owned by Masawara Holdings.