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Investor pours US$44m into steel plant

by Staff reporter
20 May 2024 at 08:10hrs | Views
Local investor BER–Pig Iron and Steel Company (BPISC) has committed US$43.8 million to establish an iron ore processing plant in Redcliff, Midlands province. This initiative will be operated under a local consortium, Berhard Development Corporation (PVT) Limited.

Speaking at a recent business expo in Kwekwe, BPISC chief executive Bernard Mutanga announced that the plant would be situated on a 500-hectare plot acquired from Redcliff Town Council.

"The state-of-the-art processing plant will feature 10 blast furnaces with a combined production capacity of 870,000 tonnes of pig iron," Mutanga said. "This venture aims to reduce the importation of pig iron and steel products, generating over 1,000 direct jobs and an estimated 5,000 indirect opportunities through local businesses and the supply chain."

BPISC is collaborating with the University of Zimbabwe for research and development, while the Chinese company HANFA Group will supply the blast furnaces and assist with the plant's installation.

"Plant installation and production are slated to begin in August. The development will proceed in four phases, with full production expected within three years," Mutanga explained. "The first phase will produce 240 tonnes of pig iron per day. The modern blast furnaces will include hot blast stoves, belles' tops, and pulverised coal injection with oxygen enrichment."

Sintering machines with an annual capacity of 1.2 million tonnes will also be installed to enhance the productivity of the blast furnaces, reduce the coke rate, and allow the use of low iron-bearing material and low coke breeze in production.

Mutanga added that the blast furnaces would feature a waste heat recovery coke plant producing 0.6 million tonnes per year and a 60-megawatt power plant based on waste heat from the coke plant and blast furnace gas, supplied by Chinese company Hangzhou Azbel Technology.

"The pig iron will be produced from iron ore, limestone, and coal. Agreements have already been secured for iron ore fines from Ziscosteel, Buchwa Mining Company, and other sources in Beitbridge, Mount Darwin, and Macheke," he added.

Source - newsday
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