Harare (New Ziana) –Spin-off benefits from the massive iron and steel plant being constructed in Mvuma are already accruing to local communities, with the latest being improved mobile network connectivity following the erection of transmission infrastructure at the project site by the two largest mobile phone companies in Zimbabwe, Econet and NetOne.
The US$1 billion project, which will see the construction of a world class iron and steel plant, is set to transform the Mvuma area with a new town set to be born between Mvuma-Chivhu and Manhize.
The project is being carried by Dinson Iron and Steel Company (Disco), a subsidiary of Tsingshan Group Holdings, a Fortune 500 listed company.
Also, apart from modernising the area and creating employment for local communities several spin-off benefits are expected to accrue to the area.
The latest benefit accruing to the communities near the Disco project also fits into the Second Republic’s mantra of leaving no place and no one behind.
“Yesterday, two major telecoms @econetZimbabwe and @NetOneCellular connected our site to their networks, a key business enabler for the plant as well as benefit to this sleepy, rural community that was in the periphery. Our investment is changing lives,” Disco tweeted on Wednesday.
The integrated project, which comprises of a carbon and steel plant, an iron ore mine, and a ferrochrome plant, will also result in between 4 000 and 5 000 people benefiting through employment across value chains.
Initial production capacity has been set at 1.2 million tonnes of iron ore per year.
The project, a major marker for the Second Republic’s open for business approach, is on track to produce its first steel in 2023, although there were delays that were caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
At peak, the operation will have capacity to produce five million tonnes of iron ore annually.
On Monday this week, Disco and Zesa Holdings signed a joint venture agreement for the construction of a 100km power distribution line from Sherwood in Kwekwe to Mvuma, giving further impetus to the project.
Zesa’s, Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company will construct the line with funding coming from Disco.
The massive operation will consume up to 500 megawatts of electricity.
Supporting infrastructure for the project including a railway line are also being considered.