The Sunday News
Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
REFURBISHMENTS works at ZimChem Refineries are almost complete with the rehabilitation of a boiler at its Kwekwe plant having been completed.
The company embarked on refurbishment exercise as part of the company’s expansion programme as it seeks to move into production of road making chemicals. Government has since engaged ZimChem in the road rehabilitation exercise after President Mnangagwa declared the country’s roads a state of disaster.
Cabinet was recently briefed that the refurbishments at the Kwekwe plat were going on well.
“Cabinet was informed that ZimChem completed the refurbishment of a boiler at its Kwekwe plant and will soon embark on the refurbishment of the standby generator in order to produce 300 metric tons of pitch for export and 300 metric tons for use by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development,” Government announced in a post-Cabinet briefing recently.
ZimChem Refineries acting general manager Mr Tendai Shoko said the company needs to increase capacity and broaden the product range in line with the modern economic needs.
“We have invited some engineering companies that are willing to help us refurbish some plants that have not been operational for a while. We need to refurbish our plant with a view of starting to produce road chemicals in light of the call by the Government to have the roads refurbished.
We have been facing challenges with working capital but the Government has promised to solve the problem and we are looking forward to it so that we can increase our capacity. As ZimChem we stand ready to play a pivotal role in bringing back our roads to their former glory,” he said.
The company is producing timber treatment chemicals and furnace fuels only, which accounts for only 10 percent capacity utilisation. Recently, the Government engaged ZimChem Refineries and the Midlands State University (MSU) to collaborate in finding homegrown solutions to maintenance and rehabilitation of the country’s roads.
President Mnangagwa declared the country’s roads a state of disaster after the transport network was damaged by heavy rains that pounded the country during the 2020/2021 rainy season. Zimbabwe is importing bitumen, which is being used for road repairs. The partnership between ZimChem and Midlands State University seeks to locally produce tar thereby cutting costs by close to 50 percent.