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ZETDC begins work on power line for largest steel plant

by Staff reporter
26 Oct 2022 at 05:52hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has embarked on a topographic survey to determine the route along which the 100km transmission line from Sherwood sub-station in Kwekwe to the new steel plant in Manhize near Mvuma will be constructed.

Dinson Iron and Steel Company (Disco), which is a subsidiary of the world's largest stainless steel producer, Tsingshan Holdings is building Africa's largest steel plant in Manhize at a capital outlay of US$1 billion.

The plant will have the capacity to produce 1,2 million tonnes of steel per annum.

ZETDC, the distribution arm of State power utility Zesa, intends to construct the 330-kilovolt transmission line at a cost of US$66 million through a loan to be funded by Disco.

The loan will be recovered from ZETDC through deductions from Disco's monthly bills until it is fully paid over an estimated five-year period.

In an interview, ZETDC acting managing director Engineer Howard Choga said the topographic survey on where the electric towers for the transmission line will be constructed was 80 percent complete.

"After the environmental impact assessment was done, (topographic) survey works have started and equipment for wailing (transmission equipment such as pylons) has been acquired and we are now doing a topographic survey which is critical as it gives us guidance in determining where the electric towers for the transmission line will be erected," he said.

At present, Manhize is connected to the national grid but this cannot support the huge steel works to be undertaken; hence the need to connect the operations to the trunk grid via Sherwood.

It is hoped that the planned 330kv connection will also reinforce electricity supplies to other industries in Manhize and the surrounding areas.

Early this month, President Mnangagwa officiated at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Disco Steel project, which the Government has granted national projected status, and is expected to have its first blast furnace up and running by September next year.

"The topographic survey, which started recently, could now be at 80 percent… there will be a site meeting where we will get further feedback before construction of the power line begins soon," said Eng Choga.

Under the first phase of the integrated steel plant, thousands of jobs will be created while on full completion at least 10 000 people will be employed directly and 50 000 others across the value chain.

Meanwhile, Disco and Zesa Enterprises (Zent), a subsidiary of Zesa responsible for engineering solutions to the electricity sector, will establish a galvanising plant around the end of next year to produce steel towers needed for transmission lines and many other steel products.

Galvanising is the process of coating iron or steel with zinc to protect them from rusting.

A 50km railway line from Mvuma to the steel plant will also be constructed and Disco has already engaged the National Railways of Zimbabwe for the development of the rail infrastructure.

The two parties have agreed that Disco will construct a private siding line to connect to the NRZ Mvuma siding.

The US$1 billion project is expected to bring a positive multiplier effect on the economy, which will be felt in both upstream and downstream industries.

It is envisaged that with this steel plant the Government has granted a national project status will cut steel imports by 90 percent.

Following the closure of the Redcliff-based steel producer, Zisco in 2008, Zimbabwe is spending over US$400 million annually on imported steel.

Disco has also entered into a partnership with the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) for the construction of a dam to supply water to the steel plant as well as benefiting the new town that is mushrooming.

Source - The Herald