Water woes stall Steel Makers' re-opening

Water woes stall Steel Makers' re-opening
Published: 04 September 2018 (1983 Views)
THE prevailing water shortage in Masvingo has stalled the re-opening of Steel Makers Sponge Iron plant. Masvingo city has been battling a serious water shortage following the breakdown of two pumps at the local authority's main station at Bushmead.

The pumps have been taken to Harare for repairs and residents have been getting water through bowsers, two weeks on.

The re-opening of the company is set to earn the country about $1 million through sponge steel exports per annum once operations resume. General manager, Mr Anandeeswara Baggam, said the company had received coal from Botswana and Chiredzi in the lowveld, which was enough to start operation adding that close to 700 former workers would be retained. He said production was expected to resume last Saturday but it had been delayed by the prevailing water crisis in Masvingo, which has seen the city go for two weeks without running water.

Water plays an important role during production of sponge steel as the coal used in the manufacturing processes needs continuous moisture supply.

"We could have resumed operations on 1 September (Saturday) but the water crisis currently affecting Masvingo has made life difficult for us," said Mr Baggam.

He said the market for the company's products was ready although production costs made the prices not attractive but hoped inflation would come down so that the company could operate profitably.

"We are disturbed by the inflationary environment that we are operating in here. Otherwise the market for our products is ready. We are accumulating our coal from Chiredzi and we received one truck from Botswana and more is coming. We need at least 100 tonnes of coal to use on daily basis and as I am speaking I am in Chiredzi where I am mobilising more coal," he said.

"We are going to rehire all out former workers because we are planning to operate at 100 percent capacity from the start. We are now targeting next Saturday to resume operation and that will depend on the availability of water from Masvingo city. I will also visit them tomorrow over the issue to get an update."

The plant, commonly known as Sponge Iron and Mining Beneficiation Industries (SIMBI) Pvt Ltd, has been mothballed since 2015 due to a dip in prices on the international steel market.

At its peak, SIMBI employed more than 150 permanent employees and produced between 2 500 to 3 000 tonnes of sponge iron per month. The company is set to resume operations soon due to improved economic conditions now prevailing in the country. Besides directly employing around 150 people, SIMBI's revival would also lead to the re-opening of the Glenlivet Iron Ore Mine, about 35km east of Masvingo city along the Masvingo-Mutare Highway.

Another mine that supplies coal to the SIMBI plant has been re-opened in the Gudo area of Chiredzi, creating a further 140 direct jobs. SIMBI's re-opening, coupled with the planned revival of the Cold Storage Company plant in Masvingo and Mashaba asbestos mine in Mashava, would further spur economic growth in the province through job creation and other attendant spin-offs.

Mr Baggam said initially, his firm was planning to recruit 100 workers for the SIMBI plant in the city and between 70 to 100 workers at the Glenlivet Iron Ore Mine.

A similar number will also be recruited at the firm's coal mine in Chiredzi. Iron ore from Glenlivet would be transported by road to the sponge iron plant in the city, while coal from Chiredzi is moved either by road or rail to the plant.

- chronicle

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Acting President Chiwenga too poorly to work from office

by ZimLive | 19 June 2019 | 130 Views

Nick Mangwana opposes ZANU PF MPs

by Mandla Ndlovu | 19 June 2019 | 129 Views

RBZ photocopies Bond notes?

by Mandla Ndlovu | 19 June 2019 | 159 Views

Latest on Mthuli Ncube's resignation

by Mandla Ndlovu | 19 June 2019 | 194 Views

Zimbabwe crisis at tipping point

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 187 Views

Mnangagwa told to ignore Chamisa 'at your own peril'

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 171 Views

US-Africa summit boost for Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 119 Views

Charging of fuel in US dollars riles motorists, who owns ZUVA?

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 149 Views

Chombo passport appeal thrown out

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 79 Views

Cabinet tackles load shedding

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 109 Views

MPs insist on corporal punishment

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 72 Views

Zanu-PF demands apology from Chamisa's MDC

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 79 Views

Drivers' licence scam unearthed

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 103 Views

8 truck drivers fined for fuel theft

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 75 Views

Zesa might spoil Afcon for football lovers

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 58 Views

Skeletons tumbling at Choppies

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 107 Views

Chamisa 'reloads' Zimbabwe rescue plan

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 81 Views

Mnangagwa splurges US$1m to re-engage US

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 62 Views

Zanu-PF executive rescues Mutoko MP

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 72 Views

Bulawayo councillors to declare assets

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 44 Views

'Fatcats choke Zesa'

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 69 Views

Parly in heated debate over pregnant school girls

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 47 Views

Anti-Mnangagwa slur lands man in court

by Staff reporter | 19 June 2019 | 55 Views

Chicken project thrives on human waste

by Staff reportrer | 19 June 2019 | 86 Views

Proceeds of thigh vending are detestable to the Most High

by Thomas Murisa | 19 June 2019 | 70 Views

'Taming the Shrew' - Deaths on our Roads

by Engineer Tororiro Isaac Chaza PMP | 19 June 2019 | 101 Views

The Monologue of Dialogue is deluded and self immolation

by Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo | 18 June 2019 | 134 Views

Bullying and Harassment in the Work Place

by Muchie Shamuyarira | 18 June 2019 | 129 Views

BREAKING: Zanu PF legislator dies

by Staff Reporter | 18 June 2019 | 245 Views

Mnangagwa escapes ICC rap

by Staff Reporter | 18 June 2019 | 209 Views

'Zanu-PF will lose'

by Staff Reporter | 18 June 2019 | 182 Views

America snubs Mnangagwa

by Mandla Ndlovu | 18 June 2019 | 203 Views

WITCHCRAFT: Family wakes up to find beaded guinea fowl in backyard

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2019 | 150 Views

Mnangagwa arrives in Maputo

by Staff reporter | 18 June 2019 | 95 Views

Peter Moyo fired by Trevor Manuel chaired Old Mutual

by City Press | 18 June 2019 | 138 Views

Massive scandal rocks Lupane Passport office

by MRP | 18 June 2019 | 147 Views

Zanu-PF's Obedingwa Mguni collapses and dies?

by newzimbabwe.com | 18 June 2019 | 147 Views