The Sunday News
Fairness Moyana in Hwange
PHASE two of expansion of a coke oven battery plant at Dinson Colliery in Hwange is set to be done by December, and will boost coke production up to 180 000 tonnes annually in addition to the initial 150 000, an official has said.
Dinson Colliery administrative managing director Mr Steve Xhing said the company was aiming to supply 60 percent of the coke to the local market while the remaining 40 would be sold to SADC countries.
He was briefing the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes, Dr Jorum Gumbo who toured the plant on Thursday last week.
“We are almost complete with the second phase which will produce 180 000 tonnes of coke which will rake US$54 million revenue annually in addition to the initial 150 000 tonnes.
We expect to be operational before December this year while Phase 3 which will increase production capacity to 1 million tonnes per year will be complete early 2023.
At least 60 percent of our coke will be used locally to support industry and agriculture while 40 percent will be exported to SADC markets such as South Africa, DRC, Zambia and Botswana,” he said.
Mr Steve said the company had not only created employment and acquisition of skills through on-the-job-training by Chinese experts but had seen the construction of modern houses for families affected by the project as well as establishments of water points to service the community.
However, he said the company was facing operational and bureaucratic challenges such as need for expansion space for other projects and immigration issues affecting entry of skilled personnel from China.
Dr Gumbo said the Government welcomed the expansion of a coke oven battery as this will ultimately boost local steel production resulting in significant reduction of steel imports.
“You will be aware that due to the closure of Ziscosteel, the country has been spending over US$400 million annually on steel imports.
The demand for steel and steel products has also increased exponentially due to the general boom in the construction sector and the focus on infrastructure development and rehabilitation since the advent of the Second Republic,” he said.
Dr Gumbo said coke from the plant will boost steel production at Manhize leading ultimately to a significant reduction in steel imports.
The company through its Dinson Consolidated Mining Project is constructing an iron and steel plant in Manhize area of Mvuma with production projected to be 1.2 million tonnes per year with part of the coke produced the Hwange plant going to be gobbled up there.
The visit was part of the 100 Day Cycle Programme, a strategy adopted by Government to ensure the speedy implementation of projects moving towards the attainment of Vision 2030.