Steelmakers courts Indian investors

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STEELMAKERS Zimbabwe is now courting Indian investors in a bid to raise $30 million to recapacitalise its Masvingo steel plant after failing to raise the money locally, a company official has said.
Steelmakers general manager Alexander Johnson told The Source on Tuesday that efforts to raise the bulk of the money locally had failed due to the liquidity crisis in the country.
“The project is in limbo. We have been approaching banks but there is no money and we are now looking for partners abroad to get this project running,” he said.
Johnson said efforts to raise part of the money through shareholders had also hit a brick wall due to the cash crunch.
The company wants to increase the capacity of its rolling mill in Masvingo three-fold from the current 2,800 tonnes per month, but suspended iron processing at the plant last year. The plant is currently producing sponge iron.
Steelmakers is currently producing over 3,000 tonnes of steel per month at its Kwekwe plant with iron ore from its mining operations, Johnson said, adding that production would increase if NewZim Steel, formerly Ziscosteel, becomes operational and supplies the raw materials.
In November last year the government and Essar said they were close to resolving an impasse over mineral rights that stalled the $750 million deal to revive the steelworks.Advertisement