DISCO, ZETDC partnership to create 300 jobs

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Staff Reporter
A proposed Partnership between Dinson Iron and Steel Company (DISCO) (Private) Limited and the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) for the construction of a 330 kiloVolt (kV), 100 kilometre electricity line from Sherwood in Kwekwe to Manhize in Chivhu, is expected to create 300 jobs.
Presented to cabinet by Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor MthuliNcube during the weekly cabinet meetings, the project is also expected to supply electricity to families along the line.
DISCO, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvanga said is setting up a Greenfield Integrated iron and steel plant, alongside mining of iron in the Chivhu District of Mashonaland East Province and Chirumanzu District of the Midlands Province.
Benefits on the power-line project include the direct employment of about 300 skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers during the construction phase of the project.
“At least 80 percent of the general labour force will come from the local communities,” she said.
Other benefits include that ZETDC will have an asset on its balance sheet immediately after commissioning.
“The country’s power transmission capability will be augmented and reinforced while the construction of the power-line will capacitate Zimbabwe to substantially contribute to the regional Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), which facilitates trade in power across Southern Africa, thereby significantly increasing the country’s revenue inflows,” the minister said.
She said the US$750 million investment will significantly contribute to the country’s economic growth.
“DISCO has accordingly applied to be connected to the national electricity grid in order to access the requisite power for its plant operations.
The electricity transmission line will stretch from the Kwekwe-Sherwood Substation to DISCO’s iron and steel manufacturing plant at Manhize in Chivhu.
DISCO will pre-finance both phases of the construction project, as a loan to the utility company, the minister said.
“The loan will be recovered from ZETDC through deductions from DISCO’s monthly bills until the loan is paid up, over an estimated 5-year period. Cabinet invites the public to note that this electricity line will not only be dedicated to DISCO, but will also be available to other ZETDC customers along the way.
“In term of the PPP, the utility will use 40 percent of the electricity,” she said.
During Phase I of the project, DISCO will require only a fraction of its 60 percent allocation, leaving the rest available to ZETDC.
“The partnership will, therefore, allow DISCO to access a reliable and regular supply of power from ZETDC for their iron mining and processing operations on time. Local communities will also benefit by receiving consistent power supplies,” she said.

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