Steelmakers to invest $155m for new technology on plant
REDCLIFF-BASED steel manufacturer, Steelmakers has begun a feasibility study to introduceuce new technology at its Masvingo sponge iron subsidiary, Simbi Steelmakers.
About $155 million is expected to be setet aside for the ambitious plan, which willll ramp up output ten-fold from currentt production capacity, which stands at 30 000 per annum at the Masvingo plant.
The new technology will greatly reduce overheads for the local foundry, which will consequently make the local entity competitive on the regional market where it exports to Zambia,, Malawi and Mozambique.
Steelmakers operations director Upendradra Alamwar told Chronicle Business thatt the company will be able to compete withh other international players through better “integration and utilisation” of resources brought about by the proposed plant.
“The project is now under a feasibility study and still under consideration. At the moment we are looking at the financial aspect of the project. All those logistics are being put into place and if the feasibility is successful then it would be mean better integration and utilisation of our resources,” he said. Under the initial plan, the project is set to be financed through long term borrowings and equity partnerships. The newne technology will see the sponge iron or DRI further being converted to steel billetbillets and the hot billet will be charged diredirectly to the mills for conversion to deformeddef bars and other sections. This will result in the Masvingo plant producing 330 000 tonnes of steelst per annum from 30 000 of steel bbeing produced. Steelmakers will wean itself frfrom the national grid as the new technologyte will be able to generate popower for itself. “This project will also generate elecelectricity from waste gases to the tune of 18 megawatts (per month). Additional energy required for operations of the steel plant wilwill also be generated through separate coal injection,”injection said Alamwar. Steelmakers’ competitiveness has mainly been compromised by obsolete technology which has resulted in an influx of cheap steel mainly from India. Steelmakers resumed production at its Masvingo plant in 2012. It had been closed following a series of breakdowns due to the ageing equipment. — @ lavuzigara1