Dinson Iron and Steel Company (Disco) reports that construction of steel plant project in Manhize near Myuma is now 78 percent complete, and it remains on track for its commissioning target in December 2023.
The development of this massive steelworks, believed to be the largest integrated steel plant in Africa, commenced in 2022 with an initial production deadline set for August of the same year. However, due to weather-related delays caused by heavy rains earlier this year, the completion deadline has been pushed to December.
Disco is a subsidiary of Tsingshan Holdings Group Limited, China’s largest stainless steel producer. It also owns Dinson Colliery in Hwange in Matabeleland North Province and Afrochine Smelting Limited Selous, a ferrochrome plant.
According to Wilfred Motsi, the project director for Disco, the steel plant project is now 78 percent complete. The construction of the electricity transmission line from Sherwood to Manhize is also progressing well. Disco has plans to develop three greenfield power projects with a combined output of 300MW, utilizing solar, wind, and heat from the steel plant’s operations converted into electricity.
Construction cost for the Dinson Steel Plant
Construction cost for the Manhize steel plant project is I $1.5 billion, this project will also position Zimbabwe as Africa’s largest steel producer and seventh in the world once operational. It will be commissioned in phases, starting with an annual production of 600,000 tonnes and gradually ramping up to 1.2 million in the second phase and 2.4 million in the next phase before reaching five million in the final phase. This initiative aims to revive Zimbabwe’s steel production sector, which was prominent when Zisco was operating at its peak in the late 1990s.
Dismissing reports of importing construction materials, Motsi clarified that they are sourcing cement locally, but they are importing refractory bricks from China and Hong Kong for building blast furnaces.
The potential export markets for Zimbabwe’s steel products include Zambia, Botswana, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, and Namibia. Neighboring countries like Zambia have been importing significant quantities of iron and steel, making them potential customers for the Manhize Iron Steel Plant. Similar opportunities exist in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, all of which have been importing iron and steel.
Zimtrade, Zimbabwe’s export promotion agency, sees significant potential for locally produced iron and steel to compete effectively in these regional markets, given their proximity compared to distant Asian and European suppliers.