Zimbabwe Steel Industry Importing 90pct Of Raw Materials

- Mar 22, 2018-

Chronicle reported that the Engineering Iron and Steel Association of Zimbabwe its sector is importing 90% of its key raw materials, a development which has resulted in the country being less competitive on the export market. Following the closure of Ziscosteel, companies that relied on the giant have been forced to import raw materials such as steel billets, which were being manufactured at the Red cliff-based firm. Apart from steel billets local foundries are also importing ferrosilicon and ferromanganese from other countries.

With scarce foreign currency resources some of the companies have been forced to scale down operations.

Steelmakers, Midlands Metal and Haggie Rand are some of the steel companies, which are still operating but below capacity while Lancashire Steel shut down as a result of a plethora of challenges in the sector.

EISAZ president, Mr Austin Tigere, said the re-opening of Ziscosteel is the only way the sector can come out of its current quagmire.

Presenting evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy recently, Ziscosteel chief executive officer, Mr Alouis Gowo, said at least USD 1 billion is needed for it to start operations. He said urgent refurbishment was critical to ensure the iron and steel giant once the largest integrated steelworks in Sub-Saharan Africa outside South Africa, comes on board. This would need 18 to 24 months to restructure and reconstruct the blast furnaces before production starts. Chinese investor, R &F Properties has expressed interest to invest at least USD 1 billion to revive Ziscosteel.

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