Water woes stall Steel Makers' re-opening

Water woes stall Steel Makers' re-opening
Published: 04 September 2018 (1760 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

MDC slams RBZ currency moves

by ZimLive | 21 February 2019 | 86 Views

Employers not worried by bond notes, RTGS devaluation

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 82 Views

Monetary policy, a huge leap towards safety

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 83 Views

Mangudya's retreat to safety is timely.....

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 76 Views

Zanu-PF School of Ideology to open provincial schools

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 79 Views

Damnatio memoriae and Robert Gabriel Mugabe National Youth Day?

by Brian Maregedze | 21 February 2019 | 80 Views

Woman scalds daughter with boiling water

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 77 Views

Fare thee well dear Comrade Callistus Dingiswayo Ndlovu

by Nomazulu Thata | 21 February 2019 | 74 Views

Man to pay $1,000 for killing antelope

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 76 Views

Teacher cracks pupil's forehead

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 81 Views

Pupils injured in classroom collapse

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 77 Views

Cleansing ceremony for Battlefields mines

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 43 Views

Zanu-PF ups campaigns in Chitungwiza

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 76 Views

Eddie Cross hails Monetary Policy Statement

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 83 Views

Chicken 'thief' electrocuted

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 71 Views

Black market forex rate remains stable

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 83 Views

Bribe bid kombi crew arrested

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 67 Views

Banking sector profits jump 61%

by Staff repprter | 21 February 2019 | 73 Views

Willing recolonisation will forever be the hallmark of MDC-Alliance

by Isdore Guvamombe | 21 February 2019 | 71 Views

Zimbabwe to sign air service pacts with Oman, Sri Lanka

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 71 Views

Diaspora remittances drop

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 65 Views

Mthuli Ncube declares war on inflation

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 65 Views

Zimbabwe Communist Party statement on Monetary Policy

by ZCP | 21 February 2019 | 119 Views

MDC officials abducted

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 131 Views

'Police raided my groceries'

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 113 Views

Women haggle over hubby

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 120 Views

PSL clubs in huge dilemma

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 113 Views

Mtukudzi family mired in controversy

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 119 Views

Harare- Beitbridge road dualisation gathers pace

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 99 Views

Madzibaba in public HIV test

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 92 Views

Stabbing at school

by Staff reporter | 21 February 2019 | 104 Views

Mthuli Ncube says Zimbabwe's inflation rate is being misread

by Bloomberg | 21 February 2019 | 96 Views

Government shows teachers the middle finger

by Mandla Ndlovu | 21 February 2019 | 110 Views

PHOTOS: Mugabe celebrates birthday

by Mandla Ndlovu | 21 February 2019 | 158 Views

Kirtsy Coventry calls youths for a National Indaba

by Mandla Ndlovu | 21 February 2019 | 108 Views

What will a teacher's strike in Zimbabwe mean

by Staff Reporter | 21 February 2019 | 125 Views

ZimJustice unveils new conditions in order to assist more workers

by ZimJustice Communications Department | 21 February 2019 | 108 Views