Government scrambles to restart mothballed Zisco

Spread This News

A TECHINICAL team from Essar Africa is expected in the country this week as the government scrambles to restart the collapsed Ziscosteel, once one of Africa’s largest integrated steel producers.
India-based Essar was the company selected to take-over the firm, now renamed New Zim Steel in a $750 million privatisation deal that however failed to take off under the coalition government.
New industry and commerce minister Mike Bimha however, told the Sunday Mail that the government wanted operations at the Redcliff-based firm to resume by the end of the month.
“The issue of Essar is no longer a policy one but an implementation issue,” he said.
“A team of experts will be in the country this week from Essar to help with the implementation. All I can say is it’s (the deal) on course and in the next two weeks will be updating Cabinet on the progress made.
“As you know, resuscitation of Zisco Steel is one of the quick wins in our economic blueprint Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset), so there is no going back.”
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa also told a pre-budget seminar for legislators in Victoria Falls that the revival of Zisco had become a major priority for the government.
“The new investor wants a dedicated railway line for coal supplies; they want a dedicated power supply line and we are talking of dam construction, the setting up of a new power line, and that takes a bit of time,” he said.
“We need to understand that the new investor will assume debts we have and when that is done we are good to go.”Advertisement