Turnall secures $1m BCC contract As firm launches new roofing product
TURNALL Holdings yesterday launched a new cement fibre product called Ecosheet, an innovative roofing option that is affordable and environmentally friendly.
Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Mike Bimha presided over the launch at the company’s Bulawayo branch in Belmont.
The minister commended Turnall for coming up with the new product and challenged companies in the country to embrace innovation so as to survive the difficult economic climate.
He said the Government was aware of the challenges facing the economy and was doing its best to create the best investment environment that would sustain growth of local companies.
The minister urged the private sector to approach the government with solutions as opposed to complaining over problems that are already known.
Turnall board representative Mr Manfred Mahari said the new product was developed in response to consumer needs in relation to environment and economic realities.
“Eco-sheet is a value and environmentally friendly product that will be available in all sizes and moulds that Turnall has traditionally supplied to the market. It is durable and maintenance free. It is significantly cheaper than traditional fibre cement products making it appropriate for low cost housing,” he said.
Acting managing director Ms Roseline Chisveto said the new product was a demonstration of the firm’s commitment to serving the market and responding to its needs.
Turnall has a huge pipeline manufacturing plant, which is lying idle and operates on the basis of orders, acting technical executive Mr Godfrey Starch, added.
“We will be opening our pipeline plant at the end of this month to early December because of the boost from city council. Our pipeline plant operates on project basis and we park it when there are no projects,” said Mr Starch during the tour.
“The plant will be up and running now because of this Nyamandlovu Epping Forest Project. Council has given us an order to supply material worth $1 million to cover about 4.5km of the pipeline project. This is a significant deal for us and it will actually make us produce.”
Bulawayo needs about 135 mega litres a day, but is getting an average of 90 mega litres per day.
Council is implementing the project in partnership with Zinwa.
Gwayi catchment manager Engineer Chengeto Gozo said the Epping Forest project contractor was now on site.
“This project is part of the greater Nyamandlovu aquifer water supply managed by Zinwa. Currently, we are getting insufficient water from Rochester Farm in Nyamandlovu for Bulawayo amid the current water crisis,” he said.
Eng Gozo said the completion of the project would alleviate the water crisis given that the other alternative sources of water for Bulawayo were drying up.
“When plans were made to expand the project from Rochester to Epping Forest Farm, our challenge was funding. We discussed with the city of Bulawayo and they agreed to fund it,” he said.
Eng Gozo said the project was divided into two segments, Slot A, which involves the setting up of pumps and Slot B where they would drill boreholes.
“The project is supposed to take six months and we expect to complete the project in the next five months. We are getting into the second month of the project and when we complete the two phases we will then start drawing water from the boreholes to a station and then to the city of Bulawayo reservoirs,” said Eng Gozo.
Last year in April, council director of Engineering Services Engineer Simela Dube said the Epping Forest Project needed an estimated $4 million to complete.
“Council had passed a resolution and agreed to partner Government through Zinwa and contribute towards the cost of implementing this project. Letters have been written to the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to facilitate the project,” Eng Dube said.