MSU tar manufacturing project to save country forex
Gweru (New Ziana) -The Midlands State University tar manufacturing project will see the country saving a lot of foreign currency through import substitution, an official has said.
MSU Enterprise Division executive director Alex Mukwembi told journalists undergoing a workshop on reporting on the National Development Strategy 1 who were touring the institution that they decided to find ways of saving much needed foreign currency by coming up with a model that can replace the bitumen tar imported from South Africa.
“We have a patent on that one. We have replacement for bitumen which will result in the nation making significant savings in foreign currency,” he said.
Zimbabwe currently imports bitumen from South Africa and the one being manufactured by the MSU is made from locally available raw materials like coal tar and asbestos fibre.
“They have been tested, patented and can replace what we are getting outside.”
Apart from tar, the MSU industrial park has a chemical manufacturing unit, garment factory which is manufacturing personal protective equipment and industrial protective equipment.
The MSU is producing 10 000 litres of sanitiser per day and has an order of 288 000 masks from the National Pharmaceutical Company (Natpharm).
Mukwembi said they intend to venture into making hand wash, industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals using local herbs.
“Gone are the days when we used to import and we must make sure we produce whatever is required by the country. We are the manpower that should drive economic development in Zimbabwe,” he said.
The MSU Enterprise Division also houses a printing division which printed Covid-19 materials and is currently printing the NDS1.