Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Business Correspondent
THE country’s sole Ammonium Nitrate (AN) manufacturer, Sable Chemical Industries has set sights on injecting $5,3 million into a Private Public Partnership (PPP) with National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) as part of efforts to improve efficiency in the movement of its products.
In an interview with Sunday Business on the sidelines of a plant tour yesterday, Sable Chemicals chief executive officer Mr Bothwell Nyajeka said the company was looking forward to increasing production this year hence the need to upgrade NRZ’s infrastructure.
Rail is the major mode of transport for the fertiliser company.
“On infrastructure refurbishment we are working with NRZ because they are key to us in that we use rail to bring in our raw materials and we also use them to transport our finished product. We have entered into a PPP with them to look into the refurbishment of tankers and rehabilitation of railway lines. Our aim is to ensure that all those things work as they are supposed to. The PPP would be funded to the tune of about $5,3 million and NRZ will be generating about $7 million in revenue,” said Mr Nyajeka.
He said the company was targeting to increase production of AN to 90 000 tonnes this year from 40 000 tonnes produced last year.
“This year we are looking forward to producing 90 000 tonnes of AN. From January to July we want to produce 57 000 tonnes of AN and the remaining 33 000 tonnes would be manufactured between August and December,” he said.
Sable Chemicals has a production capacity of 240 000 tonnes per year and requires $2,8 million a month for it to operate on full throttle.
Sable Chemicals is importing ammonia, a key component in the production of AN from South Africa following the decommissioning of its obsolete electrolysis plant.
Mr Nyajeka said the company was looking forward to start using coal bed methane CBM in the production of AN.
The Kwekwe-based company switched off its electrolysis plant and was importing ammonia from South Africa that would be fed into the AN manufacturing plant which has the energy consumption capacity of 10 megawatts (MW) compared to 115 MW consumed by the electrolysis plant.
Sable Chemicals has a staff complement of 300 people.