Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Dinson switches on limestone plant in Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter
24 May 2024 at 08:32hrs | Views
The Dinson Iron and Steel Company (Disco) has activated its limestone production unit in preparation for the commencement of operations at the US$1.5 billion iron and steel plant starting today in Manhize near Mvuma, Midlands province.

Lime production plays a vital role in purifying iron ore, which often contains impurities such as silicon dioxide (sand) that need to be eliminated during the manufacturing process.

According to company engineers, limestone decomposes in the furnace's heat to form calcium oxide, which then reacts with the sandy impurities (silicon dioxide) to produce slag.

The successful launch of the Manhize steel project marks a significant milestone in Zimbabwe's economic transformation journey and underscores the positive impact of the comprehensive reforms initiated by the Second Republic under President Mnangagwa.

Yesterday, a Chronicle news team observed the lime production process at Manhize, where critical test runs are also being conducted to ensure all components are functioning correctly.

The factory was bustling with activity as workers in various sections put the finishing touches on their units. Trucks loaded with limestone, coal peas, and other raw materials for steel production queued up to deliver the necessary supplies. The test runs, scheduled from May 24 to 27, will be followed by the official commissioning of the plant tentatively in early June.

In an on-site interview, Dinson's administration manager, Mr. Michael Wang, confirmed the operational status of the limestone processing plant.

"Lime is crucial for purifying iron ore, removing impurities before it goes to the sintering plant. We are producing lime in preparation for energizing the plant, which must be completed by the end of the month. We have large piles of limestone from Masvingo, demonstrating our readiness to commence production," he explained.

The company has recently completed an 88kV power line from Sherwood block in Kwekwe, which is now connected to the local substation. The massive iron and steel plant, owned by Disco, a subsidiary of China's stainless steel producer, Tsingshan Holdings Group Limited, is expected to become one of Africa's largest integrated steelworks.

The Manhize investment positions Zimbabwe as a key player in global steel manufacturing, with projections indicating its potential to emerge as a leading force in the steel and iron industry. The investment project includes plans for a Smart City named Manhize Town and a science university, showcasing its significant impact.

Preliminary estimates suggest net revenue of up to US$10 million in the initial phase, rising to a remarkable US$4.25 billion in the fourth phase of production.

President Mnangagwa, during a tour of the factory in March, commended the progress made. Company officials praised the government for facilitating smooth investment and committed to creating job opportunities, aiming for 3,000 direct jobs in the initial phase and over 10,000 jobs in the fourth phase.

The steel plant is projected to produce 600,000 metric tonnes of products in the first phase, increasing to 1.2 million tonnes in the second phase, 3.2 million tonnes in the third phase, and ultimately five million tonnes per year in the final phase, generating millions of dollars in foreign currency.

The company's future product range includes pipes, bolts and nuts, smaller slags, rolled tubes, fences, shafts, wires, and bars, among others.

Source - the herald