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Ziscosteel resuscitation begins

by Staff Reporter
31 Jul 2018 at 07:57hrs | Views
The resuscitation of the giant steel company, Ziscosteel, has taken a giant leap forward following the ground breaking ceremony of a coke plant at the steel giant by Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development Minister Dr Mike Bimha in a deal worth $133 million.

ZimCoke Private Limited will inject the substantial investment to revive Ziscosteel's coke plant and fully capitalise the project that is expected to begin operations within a month.

ZimCoke Private Limited and Ziscosteel signed an agreement of sale in 2017, where ZimCoke bought the coke-making assets of Zisco, consisting of the plant and machinery, land and buildings and associated infrastructure of coal and rail wagons.

In his speech, Dr Bimha said the move would lead to the resuscitation of Ziscosteel.

"As you may be aware that agreements have already been signed with the potential investor to rehabilitate Zisco," he said. "As we gather here, the action plan for the resuscitation of the steel giant is already in place. You will begin to see activity here on site, engineers and other supporting staff are already on the ground."

Dr Bimha said Government had taken a different approach to the rehabilitation of the steel company, which will see more than one company being contracted to play different roles within Zisco given the magnitude of the project.

"This is a different investment structure than before," he said. "We will have many companies coming in to play different roles within Ziscosteel. This is evidenced by the hiving coke ovens which are to be operated by ZimCoke.

"This is the first company to begin operations in the company which gives us confidence that this time the Zisco project will be a success."

ZimCoke's project will also benefit Ziscosteel subsidiary companies like Lancashire Steel and Zimchem, which rely on the steel company's viability as well as local authorities.

"I have been informed that when converting coal into coke many by-products such as tar, gas, pitch, benzene, naphthalene, sulphuric acid, and ammonia are produced, which will be taken from the coke battery and are extracted in the by-products plant," said Dr Bimha.

"This will immensely benefit Zimchem Refineries which uses tar prime and creosote among other products."

Ultimately, Dr Bimha said, local authorities, Zinara, Government departments and other private companies will also benefit from the tar prime for construction of roads.

ZimCoke chief executive Mr William Bill Moore said the company, which is expected to begin operations within a month, will employ over 500 workers.

"Once the project comes into fruition, 500 people are expected to be employed at ZimCoke directly and many others will be employed in the upstream and downstream industries," he said. "This is a development that the Redcliff community should be proud of as it brings decent jobs and empowerment."

Dr Bimha said first priority would be given to ex-Ziscosteel employees.

"We would give first priority to ex-Ziscosteel workers who lost their jobs due to the non-operation of the company," he said. "Apart from that, we have also engaged Redcliff Municipality for the reticulation of the water system. We will see clean water being supplied to Redcliff very soon."

Once operational Ziscosteel is expected to create an estimated 3 000 direct jobs and about 20 000 indirect employment.

Source - Chronicle