THE CHINESE firm that is constructing a US$1,5 billion steel plant near Mvuma says 50% of the project has been completed.
An official said Dinson Iron and Steel Company would begin production before the end of this year.
Project manager Wilfred Motsi said the project was on target, adding that they are almost done with preliminary structures.
“In terms of development, everything has been according to the targets. We are at 50% in terms of the completion of the project. We are now working on the super infrastructure fittings where we have the building. We are fitting the machinery now required for the processing of iron and steel.
He said the firm, which controls the project 100%, had subcontracted some Zimbabwean companies to work on roads and dams.
Motsi said the firm had engaged the National Railways of Zimbabwe for the construction of a railway line to improve accessibility.
Rail is generally a cheap means of transport compared to others like roads.
The Chinese firm has disclosed its intention to extend US$55 million in loans to national power utility, Zesa Holdings, which will be used to construct a powerline linking its plant to the national grid.
Motsi said preliminary work and designs for the construction of the powerline were on course.
The cost for the powerline and other requisite infrastructure would be accommodated in the US$55 million loan.
The firm says it saw opportunities in Zimbabwe despite the fact that scores of steel firms, among them Ziscosteel, have collapsed in the past two decades, leaving the country to import 90% of its steel requirements.
The firm’s chief executive officer Benson Xu said recently that an explosion of infrastructural developments in Africa had ignited the appetite for steel products, which his firm would be able to meet.
“The market is huge in Zimbabwe and even more in Africa where there is a boom of the construction and infrastructure development industry,” he said.
“As a company, we cannot satisfy the local demand. Even in regional markets, in China, our parent company requires millions of tonnes of steel and we cannot provide what it requires, so the market and demand is huge,” he said. – (The Independent)