The construction of Mvuma steel plant in Zimbabwe is reportedly 40% complete. This was revealed by Dinson Iron and Steel Company (Disco), a Chinese stainless-steel company in charge of the $1.55 billion project.
The Mvuma steel plant construction is two months ahead of schedule, according to the project manager Wilfred Motsi. The facility is therefore expected to begin production in August of next year.
Power utility Zesa and the plant have already inked a power deal. Consequently, a powerline linking Zesa’s facility to the national grid will be constructed. This will be supported by US$55 million in loans from the Chinese firm provided as part of the deal.
For the construction of the powerline, Motsi said that preliminary work and designs were progressing as expected. According to him, the loan of $55M would cover the cost of the powerline as well as other necessary infrastructure.
Once operational the Mvuma steel plant will produce 1,200 metric tonnes of carbon steel.
Why the Chinese steel firm decided to set up the Mvuma steel plant
Zimbabwe imports 90% of its steel requirements. This is because of the failure of many steel companies in the past two decades, including Ziscosteel. Disco, therefore, saw opportunities in the southern African country.
Benson Xu, the company’s chief executive officer, recently stated that an explosion in infrastructure projects in Africa had fueled demand for steel products, which his company would be able to meet.
The market is enormous in Zimbabwe and even larger in Africa, where the construction and infrastructure development industries are booming, he claimed.
As a company, he said, they are unable to meet the local demand. He went on to say that the market and demand are huge because even in regional markets in China, where they are unable to meet their demands, their parent company needs millions of tonnes of steel.