Mvuma steel plant to drive Zim industrialisation agenda

409

Mvuma (New Ziana) – The US$1 billion integrated iron and steel plant being constructed in Mvuma, which is envisaged to be one of the biggest in Africa, represents a huge stepping stone in Zimbabwe’s modernisation and industrialisation agenda, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Thursday.

President Mnangagwa said the world class iron and steel plant, being constructed by Chinese firm Dinson Iron and Steel Company (Disco), would tap into a resource base that is estimated to last for 100 years.

As such, President Mnangagwa said, the iron resource in that area would transform the Mvuma area as a new town is set to be born between Mvuma-Chivhu and Manhize, while trickle down benefits are also expected to accrue to the whole country.

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.

At peak, the operation will have capacity to produce five million tonnes of iron ore annually.

In his address after breaking ground at the construction site, President Mnangagwa said the project constituted a critical building block towards the realisation of the US$12 billion mining economy and vision 2030.

“The Iron and Steel manufacturing plant being established here is a paradigm shifting milestone in our country’s journey towards modernisation and industrialisation. This project resonates well with the Second Republic’s infrastructure development drive as we seek to revamp and modernise our national infrastructure for the benefit of our people.” he said.

“Through this investment, our country will now host one of the largest iron and steel manufacturing plants on the continent. It is expected to produce about 600 000 tonnes of steel per annum, over and above other related products.

“It is envisaged to leap-frog us to emerge as a dynamic industrial hub, churning out a broad range of value added, “Made in Zimbabwe” iron and steel products, for both local and international markets.”

President Mnangagwa said the project bolsters Zimbabwe’s drive to penetrate regional and global markets, while locally, the Iron and Steel Industrial Park would generate downstream and upstream opportunities.

“The intricate nexus between the growth of the mining sector, local beneficiation and value addition across all levels in the mining sector cannot be overemphasised. Hence, the local beneficiation and value addition of our abundant natural resources, particularly iron and steel, is set to accelerate and drive the economy high up the value chain,” he said.

“It is, therefore, against this background that I urge local communities, companies and small to medium enterprises, particularly women and the youth, to strategically position themselves to take maximum advantage of the attendant opportunities associated with this national strategic project.”

President Mnangagwa said the project would also result in the construction of other enabling infrastructure including a dam, roads, railway track, power line, bridges, schools, health facilities and modern houses.

A new Smart City, he said, is also envisaged to be developed and is anchored by the project.

President Mnangagwa said the project was a culmination of the Second Republic’s bold decision to harness the mutually beneficial, comprehensive and strategic relations between Zimbabwe and China.

“Allow me, on behalf of the people and Government of Zimbabwe and indeed on my own behalf, to convey my profound gratitude to the People’s Republic of China and His Excellency, President Xi Jingping, for the support Zimbabwe continues to receive under the win-win Beijing Consensus, Reform and Opening of the Economy Policy. This has seen our country benefitting from a wide range of Chinese investments across all sectors of the economy,” he said.

In June, 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.
New Ziana

Comments are closed.