The Sunday News
Sukoluhle Ndlovu, Midlands Correspondent
A GWERU-BASED chrome smelting company, Jinan Corporation is set to construct a thermal power station to generate power for its operations and channel excess to the national grid.
Speaking during a tour of the company hosted by China Africa Economic and Culture Exchange and Research Centre in Gweru last week, Jinan Corporation deputy general manager Mr Zhou Zhengqiao said the plant will take Jinan off the national grid and ease the impact of current power shortages.
“We want to construct our own power plant so that our production won’t be affected by powered shortages. This will in turn reduce the amount of power consumed from the national grid,” he said.
Mr Zhou said the company has also acquired a coal claim where mining is set to take place by beginning of next year.
“We recently acquired a coal claim and a survey by our geologists revealed that huge amounts of coal could be extracted from the mine. The mined coal will be used to produce electricity at the thermal power station while coke gas will be supplied to Hwange thermal power station,” he said.
Mr Zhou also revealed that Jinan Corporation will commission an electrode paste plant, with construction work on the plant almost complete.
“The company will soon commission the electrode paste plant which will be the first ever electrode paste plant in Zimbabwe as all the paste is imported. The plant is expected to produce 30 000 tonnes of high-quality electrode paste and generate about US$20 million per year. Construction of the plant is at an advanced stage. The plant is expected to create 250 jobs for locals,” he said.
He also said the company expects to double lime production at its plant in Bulawayo to 100 000 tonnes per annum next year.
“We are expecting to double production at our lime plant in Bulawayo from 50 000 to 100 000 tonnes per year, generating US$50 million through exports,” he said
The first stage of production was commissioned last year. The company also expects to commission three more chrome ore plants soon.