US$1,5bn Manhize plant ready to roar

Production at the Dinson Iron and Steel Company plant in Manhize, Mvuma is expected to commence in February next year with the company targeting to produce three iron and steel products by October.

Disco, which is a subsidiary of Chinese iron and steel giant, Tsingshan Holdings is constructing a US$1,5 billion steel and iron plant in Manhize, approximately 200km south of Harare.

This development positions Zimbabwe among the ranks of global steel manufacturing hubs, with projections indicating the country’s potential to emerge as a future powerhouse in the steel and iron industry.

Disco’s projects manager, Mr Wilfred Motsi confirmed the development.

“Phase one of the production is expected to start in February and everything is going on well ahead of the commencement of production,” he said.

Information at hand shows that the company expects to produce pig iron in February, followed by steel billets in May and steel bars in October.

The company is projecting to produce 600 000 metric tonnes of products in the first phase rising to 1,2 million tonnes in the second phase then 3,2 million tonnes in the third phase and ultimately five million tonnes per year in the final phase.

Other products that the company will eventually produce include pipes, bolts and nuts, smaller slags, rolled tubes, fences, shafts, wires and bars among others.

Net revenues are expected to be US$10 million during the first phase and will rise to US$4,25 billion under phase four of production.

In terms of employment, Disco expects to directly employ 3 000 workers in the first phase with the figure expected to rise to 25 000 in the fourth phase of production.

Last week, Dinson Holdings chairman, Mr Chen Shansong was in the country to monitor progress ahead of the plant’s commissioning and also signed a tariff agreement with Zesa Holdings that will see the power utility supplying subsidised electricity in return for the construction of three renewable energy plants by the iron and steel company.

The company is constructing a 100 MW solar plant at its ferrochrome smelting plant in Selous, another 100MW at Manhize powered by wind energy and a 70MW to be produced from heat generated at the iron and steel plant.

Further, developments around the steel plant will see the establishment of a new mineral value-addition industrial park and a town.

A railway line linking Manhize and Mutare up to Beira in Mozambique will also be constructed for easier transportation of bulk goods.

Other logistical issues have been completed or are work in progress to enable smooth operations once production starts.

These include the new Forbes-Machipanda One Stop Border Post to cater for Disco’s exports that has been approved by both Zimbabwe’s and Mozambique’s governments and will also be operational next year.

A revamped railway line in Mozambique from Beira-Machipanda was commissioned in November at a ceremony attended by President Mnangagwa and his Mozambican counterpart, Felipe Nyusi.

Tsingshan has also established an office in Mozambique to coordinate logistical issues for the envisaged exports.

Two new terminals at Beira port will also be constructed while design for a larger port to handle 200 000 tonnes is being finalised 40km north of Beira.

Two new railway lines from Mutare to Manhize and one from Mvuma to Manhize to join the existing NRZ trunk line will also be constructed.

Last night, Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs Minister Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa said President Mnangagwa took a visionary step to introduce Tsingshan to Mozambique in 2022 as he appreciated the scope and scale of its carbon steel ecosystem investments.

He apprised his counterpart of the revival and restoration of Zimbabwe as the economic hinterland of central Mozambique, a situation that had been militated by sanctions, war and inimical and negative investment policies of the Western economic powers.

“The finance capitals of the west had over the years deliberately and egregiously been biased towards the far off Durban harbour at the expense of nearby Beira and Maputo ports.

“With Presidents Mnangagwa and (Filipe) Nyusi (of Mozambique), it is back to the future of full-fledged Moza-Zimbo cooperation enriched by shared and growing cooperation, hence the upgrade of bilateral Maputo-Harare diplomatic relations from Joint Commission to Comprehensive Bilateral Commission,” said Ambassador Mutsvangwa.

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