Gweru — Gweru-based ferrochrome producer, ZimAlloys, which has been refurbishing one of its furnaces, is expected to commission the project in the next six months in a move that is likely to double production, an official said yesterday.
Briefing Minister of State for Presidential Affairs (Monitoring and Implementation of Government Programmes) Dr Jorum Gumbo, ZimAlloys general manager Mr Mike Dzinoreva said the refurbishment was now 60 percent complete and production was expected to double in the first quarter of next year with an extra 4 000 tonnes of ferrochrome a year.
“We are very happy with the progress that we have made so far,” he said. “We are looking forward to increase our export receipts by US5 million dollars once the plant is complete.”.
With the extra furnace, ZimAlloys expects to add 350 jobs to its own payroll with thousands of others employed indirectly once the project is complete.
“This will be the biggest furnace in the country,” said Mr Dzinoreva.
Dr Gumbo said Government will continue to assist in the resuscitation of companies and urged the company to continue investing in value addition initiatives.
“I would like to assure you of continued Government support as reflected by the waiver of duty on capital goods and efforts towards reviving National Railways of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“I would also like to urge you to adopt the concept of value addition and beneficiation as espoused by the Government. The view of Government is that this is necessary to increase revenue and to ensure that the country captures all by-products coming out of our minerals.”
ZimAlloys has been using a Government-assisted resuscitation programme since the coming in of the New Dispensation.
It was placed under the Government’s 100-day plan after it ran into problems and was put under judicial management several years ago.
Judicial management is used when a business is technically bankrupt, with liabilities exceeding assets, but is believed to be viable with additional capital, management or other assistance and so can be allowed to continue operating while it climbs out of a financial hole.