Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
THE Ziscosteel board and management have come up with a short-term revival roadmap that targets the resuscitation of the defunct steel giant’s subsidiaries.
Acting board chairperson, Engineer Martin Manuhwa, revealed the new strategy while briefing the inter-ministerial task-force team during their tour of the plant recently.
He said while the Government was working on courting a serious investor for long-term plans, there was a need to focus on reviving the smaller companies as a short-term goal. Ziscosteel has subsidies like ZimChem, Lancashire Steel, and Buchwa Iron Mining Company (Bimco).
“We have done an assessment in the short-term in the Ziscosteel revival roadmap, which will begin by looking at how we can put back Bimco into its mining operations. We are currently selling waste and boulders among other things so that we can get capital to restart the operations,” said Eng Manuhwa.
He stated that while ZimChem was operating at a lower scale, there was a need to invest more so that the company operates at a larger scale.
Plans are also underway to resuscitate the Zisco mills section as well as other sections for the manufacturing processes that will in turn benefit Lancashire Steel.
“The board and management are working flat out on the thrust that we revive Zisco’s subsidiaries, which are a low hanging fruit. We have the Zisco coke ovens and the ZimChem operatives, which are lucrative subsidiaries and when revived can go a long way in helping revive Ziscosteel,” said Eng Manuhwa.
“We want to put back production of lime from lime fields, we also want to resuscitate the mills section with our four rolling mills as well as the bar rod mill, which makes billets and other sections for the manufacturing process.”
He said the rest of the long-term revival efforts will be done when Government courts a serious investment partner. The acting board chair said there was scope for positive prospects at Zisco, adding that the company was ripe for local, regional and international investors keen to come on board. In the long-run, Eng Manuhwa said the desire was to make Zisco an anchor of steel supplies in the region.
“We have missed opportunities in terms of supply of iron and steel to major construction projects that took place like the Hwange Power Station Expansion and the Kariba one as well. The long-term thrust is, therefore, to come up with a robust strategy for the steel industry in Zimbabwe and a partner that would revive Ziscosteel using the latest technology and local content as much as possible,” said Eng Manuhwa.
“The development comes as the board announced the cancellation of the $255 million ZimCoke deal with a view of taking them over.”