FERROCHROME producer, ZimAlloys, says its furnace refurbishment programme is now 60 percent complete with the company optimistic that the project will be operational in the next six months, creating an additional 350 jobs.
The firm recently embarked on a multi-million dollar rehabilitation programme of its A3 furnace.
It is hoped that on completion, the project will see ZimAlloys increasing production by four thousand tonnes annually in a move that will earn the country millions of United States dollars in export earnings.
Speaking to ZBC News on Wednesday during a tour of the project by the Minister responsible for Monitoring and Implementation of Government Programmes Dr Joram Gumbo, ZimAlloys general manager Mr Mike Dzinoreva was quoted saying the project will culminate in opening up of thousands of jobs through downstream activities.
“We are very happy with the progress that we have made so far. We are looking forward to increasing our export receipts by five million dollars once the plant is complete.
“The project will result in us employing an additional 350 jobs while thousands of others will be employed indirectly.
“This will be the biggest furnace in the country,” he said.
ZimAlloys’ furnace refurbishment programme is part of the Government’s 100-day target based initiative meant to expedite projects implementation.
During the tour, Dr Gumbo urged the ferrochrome producer to invest in value addition initiatives.
“I would like to assure you of continued Government support as reflected by the waiver of duty on capital goods and efforts towards reviving the National Railways of Zimbabwe.
“I would also like to urge you to adopt the concept of value addition and beneficiation as espoused by the Government.
“The view of Government is that this is necessary to increase revenue and to ensure that the country captures all by-products coming out of our minerals,” he said.
ZimAlloys has a total of 39 175 hectares of land and together with Zimasco, they jointly control about 80 per cent of Zimbabwe’s chrome ore claims, mostly found along the famous Great Dyke belt.
In 2017, ZimAlloys was one of the companies whose debt was hived off by the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company, a special purpose vehicle created under the purview of the Reserve Bank to mop-up non-performing loans held by local financial institutions.
Zamco took over ZimAlloys’ $21 million non-performing loan from several local financial institutions.
-ZBC News/Business Chronicle