A Chinese company says it has secured the US$1 billion needed for the first phase of the project to establish a steel plant in Chivhu.
Afrochine Smelting, a subsidiary of the world’s largest stainless steel producer Tsingshan Holdings, is already setting up infrastructure at the site.
Afrochine Smelting managing director Benson Xu confirmed told State media that funding for the project is already available. He said:
We already have funds enough to see the setting up of the project, and you may have heard the figure of US$1 billion.
That is for the first phase, and we are ready to increase the investment in the following five years.
We are ready for the ground-breaking ceremony in the next couple of months and weeks, and the commissioning will take place in December 2022.
About 14 000 jobs will be created, of which 4 000 employees would be engaged directly, while 10 000 jobs will be generated from downstream and upstream opportunities.
The company is setting up preliminary infrastructure such as administration facilities and staff quarters, including facilitating the provision of critical services such as electricity and telecommunications by the relevant authorities. Added: Xu:
The envisaged economic activities will be a boon for surrounding communities.
This is a project that will involve three different sites in three different provinces, namely Mashonaland East, Midlands and Mashonaland West.
This will see mining take place at Chivhu/Manhize areas; mining and beneficiation at Mvuma as well as the steel plant being established in Chirumhanzu.
Whereupon, we established a ferrochrome plant at Selous, a coke battery at Hwange and the steel plant forms the third leg of the investment.
Mvuma Rural District Council has already announced plans for a new town that will have up to 15 000 residents.