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Zimchem To Refurbish Plant

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By Staff Reporter

REDCLIF-based chemical manufacturing firm Zimchem is set to refurbish its plant as a way of ramping up production and capacity utilization.

Zimchem Acting General Manager Tendai Shoko in an interview said the company was targeting a booming market in road construction where its products are a key input.
“We invited some engineering firms who should assist us with the refurbishment of some plant units that have not been operational for a number of years. We want to increase our capacity and broaden our products array as we were doing some couple of years back,” Shoko said.
He added that Zimchem was also looking into road chemicals in light of the call by the government to have the roads redone and resurfaced.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has since declared the country’s roads a state of disaster.
“As Zimchem we want to be part of the road rehabilitation program. We want to be pivotal in this activity of bringing back our roads to their former glory. They are 40 000km of roads that needs to be worked on according to the Ministry of Transport. Some of the roads are in the mid to short term. We also want to play out part and contribute to the government’s efforts of resurfacing the national roads, so we have to bring ourselves ready and up to the task we therefore, need to bring the plant itself ready,” he said.
Currently Zimchem is hovering at 10% capacity utilisation.
“This is mainly the production of timber treatment chemicals and furnace fuels but we want to go a step further and go into road chemicals which we were producing in the past in huge volumes. We have been having some challenges as capacity was reduced and we want to pick up that capacity and we are going to produce road chemicals for the national roads. We want to look at our capacity going up to 60% possibly by year end,” he said.
He however lamented the shortage of raw materials saying it was retarding their growth plans.
“The suppliers of raw materials are a few in the country and they can only produce about 60% of our capacity on the tar refinery side. We have been relying on getting additional inputs to supplement what we have locally but we would want to work with local resources going forward,” he said before adding that the raw materials challenge have been caused by capital constraints.
“Currently we have had some players coming through and government also giving us support,” he said.