Chloride Zim clocks 100% capacity utilisation
BATTERY manufacturer Chloride Zimbabwe is now operating at 100 percent capacity after its new $3 million plant came into operation. Chloride Zimbabwe is a wholly owned subsidiary of ART Corporation.
ART Corporation chairman Dr Thomas Utete Wushe said Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 was one of the factors that had contributed to the company’s capacity utilisation rise.
“When we approached the Ministry of Industry and Commerce for an incubation period our capacity was at 70 percent, and since the Ministry included batteries under the popular Statutory Instrument 64 we are now operating at 100 percent capacity.
“The new plant is an investment of $3 million in batterymaking equipment that was sourced from South Korea through a three-year finance facility arranged by our major shareholder,” he said.
He was speaking at the commissioning of the plant this morning. Earlier this year, the Government gazetted SI-64 of 2016 which removed more goods that are locally available from Open General Import Licence exemption.
The overall objective is to support the local fragile industry from unfair competition, that way facilitating employment creation and gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
And the selection of goods that now require import licence — including batteries — was done after thorough assessment of capacity of respective firms’ ability to supply. Chloride Zim eyes exports into the region The chairman added that to the extent that the new plant had boosted battery output to beyond local market requirement, the company was now targeting to commence exports into the region.
“The impact of this investment is the increase of production by almost 50 percent. Before the investment what we saw was a factory that was producing 240 000 batteries per annum and now we have moved up to production capacity of 360 000 batteries per year.
“We estimate that the current market demand is at 300 000 batteries per annum.
“What then happens to the 60 000 batteries? This is where we are going to take them into the regional markets.
“We will take the 60 000 into markets in Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and other parts of the region,” he said.
Chloride Zimbabwe specialises in the production and distribution of Exide and Express lead acid batteries for the automotive industry.
The company has since broadened its product range to include other brands such as Exide Premium, Deltec and Su-Kam. — BH24