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Lancashire Steel to resume production, targets 9 600 tonnes

 By Business Reporter

LANCASHIRE Steel, which is set to resume production before end of 2018 has benchmarked its annual output at 9 600 tons of wire within the first year.

In his Transitional Stabilisation Programme, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube revealed that the first year will see the company attaining an estimated 800 tonnes per month translating to 40 percent production capacity, with a growth trajectory expected to reach 80 percent capacity utilisation at the end of a five-year period.

Lancashire Steel, which used to produce wire among other steel products, closed in 2010 after facing operational challenges owing mainly to the demise of Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Ziscosteel), its major raw material supplier.

“Lancashire Steel, who had been facing operational challenges following collapse of Zisco Steel, its major raw material, is set to resume production this year, targeting 800 tons per month or 40 percent production capacity in the first year,” he said.

“This is projected to increase to a targeted 60 percent in the following year, after which this rises to over 80 percent,” he added.

When fully operational, Lancashire Steel has a production capacity of about 4 000 tonnes per month.

“The resuscitation of iron and steel value chains in Zimbabwe will benefit from entry of other investors who are coming in to operationalize Lancashire steel,” said Mthuli.

In August this year, Lancashire Steel board chairman, Professor Ngwabi Bhebhe announced that the company had secured an Indian investor based in Botswana to finance the reopening of Lancashire Steel. ENDS//

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