BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
GOVERNMENT says US$13 million from the $2,3 billion allocated to Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe (IDCZ) will be released in the first quarter of this year towards the refurbishment of Dorowa Minerals.
Industry and Commerce minister Sekai Nzenza says the project, which is expected to be commissioned in April this year, targets to achieve 70% output by mid quarter.
“We have DFI loan application for the Zimbabwe dollar equivalent of US$13m to be funded from the $2,3 billion allocation to IDCZ in 2022.
“The funds are expected to be released starting quarter 1 of 2022 for the refurbishment of the Dorowa plant to restore production to the name-plate capacity of 150 000 tpa which translates to over 430 000 tpa of NPK basal fertilizer. This output is enough for current and future NPK fertilizer,” she said
According to the ministry, a feasibility study is under way for a medium to long-term expansion project to increase capacity to 1 000 000t and production of all NPK basal fertilizers including high analysis for local and export in the sub-region.
Nzenza said government together with Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and CEO Africa Roundtable were tracking capacity utilisation of local companies to ensure they contributed to the attainment of vision 2030.
“We are tracking the capacity utilisation of local companies. The target of 61% capacity utilisation will be monitored in 2022 so that we surpass that target as we contribute to the attainment of Vision 2030,” Nzenza said.
Funds will be availed to the IDCZ in 2022 to offer concessionary funding towards the promotion of import substitution and manufactured exports.
However, the government intends to increase Dorowa Minerals production and export for both phosphate and magnetite to take advantage of the trade agreements signed with Sadc, Comesa, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area and the European Union.
Chemplex, a unit of the IDCZ, will install new equipment and machinery at its two units — the Buhera-based Dorowa Mines and Harare-based Zimphos, which is the country’s sole producer of phosphate fertilizers, aluminium sulphate for water treatment and sulphuric acid.
Zimbabwe’s fertilizer products are currently the most expensive in the region, partly due to high costs which lead to massive production inefficiencies.
The country’s demand for fertilizer in a normal farming season is about 600 000 tonnes, both basal and top dressing, of which 70% goes towards government farming programmes.