By Kwekwe Correspondent
STRUGGLING chemical manufacturer, Zimchem could soon start asking customers to bring their own raw material for processing as it battles recurrent shortages which are threatening the firm’s viability.
This was revealed by Acting General Manager Tendai Shoko in a recent interview with NewZimbabwe.com.
Shoko said the firm would soon require potential customers in construction and timber making to bring their own raw materials for production.
“We are yet to implement the idea but proposals to have customers to bring their own raw materials have been suggested. We are looking at our potential customers in construction and timber making,” he said.
Zimchem faces serious operational challenges after its raw material suppliers have suspended deliveries while demanding that the Redcliff based company first service its $11 million debt.
The company’s key supplier, Hwange Gasification Coal Company (HGCC) is being accused of prioritising the regional market where it is generating liquidity.
HGCC is supposed to be supplying Zimchem with crude tar.
Workers at the Redcliff plant said they have outstanding orders.
Last year, the company’s board chair, George Chigora who doubles as acting CEO, confirmed that the company was not getting consistent raw material supplies.
“It’s true that we are not getting consistent supply of crude tar due to the fact that the company owes suppliers. Another reason is that our raw material suppliers prefer to export tar to South Africa before beneficiation,” he said at the time.
Zimchem was commissioned by government in 1994 and processes crude benzol and tar into a range of chemical products.
The company’s woes began 2008 following the closure of Ziscosteel, which used to supply the firm with coal tar.