DINSON Colliery Company has started heating up its furnace in preparation for the start of metallurgical coke production next month at the US$30 million plant.
A subsidiary of Chinese-owned steelmaker, Tsingshan Holding Group, Dinson Colliery Company is one of the nine new coal mines and coking plants that were visited by President Mnangagwa in July last year and is set to become the largest and most advanced coke oven in Zimbabwe.
The country expects to be a net exporter of power by 2023 through contribution of coal mining, coke production and energy generation capital projects mainly situated in Hwange, Matabeleland North province.
Construction of plants at Dinson Colliery Company is in two phases and about US$30 million has been invested in the first phase with the same amount set aside for Phase Two.
The company started building its plant in 2019 but progress was stalled by the outbreak of Covid-19 until the Government engaged its Chinese counterparts to facilitate the return of experts who had been locked in the Asian country to complete the projects.
A visit by a news crew to the plant located on the foot of a nearby plateau between Dinde and Lukosi about 20km outside Hwange town on Friday, showed that significant progress has been made as workmen were making final touches on the plant.
Besides its core coke making business, Dinson Colliery has added a spectacular sight as its modern administration buildings and plant suddenly crop up from within huts to welcome travellers into Hwange.
In an interview, the company’s administration manager, Mr Steven Xing, said the first phase will see 200 000 tonnes of coke being produced per year, with production set to double after completion of the second phase next year.
“Our plant started July 2019 and we are almost done as we have already started to heat our furnace. Our plan is that by the end of next month we start to produce coke and our capacity will be 200 000 tonnes for phase one,” said Mr Xing.
He said production would rise to 500 000 tonnes per year after completion of Phase Two. The company’s core product is coke while tar and other chemicals will also be produced in due course.
Mr Xing said the company will be getting its supplies locally in Hwange from Zambezi Gas, Hwange Colliery and some Chinese companies.
He said part of products will be sold to sister company Afrochine in Selous with some being exported.
The company employs about 50 Chinese experts and 230 locals in various departments. On Friday the company partnered Green Shango Environment Trust to plant citrus and exotic trees within its premises as part of its corporate social responsibility and commitment to reclaiming land to protect the environment from degradation. Chronicle