Progress at Manhize steel plant charms President . . . hails Second Republic’s ‘favourable investment climate’

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Progress at Manhize steel plant charms President . . . hails Second Republic’s ‘favourable investment climate’ 
President Mnangagwa and Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga listen as Dinson Iron and Steel company managing director Mr Benson Xu (right) explains the firm’s operations while local project engineer Munashe Chihambakwe (left) looks on during a familiarisation tour of the plant in Manhize, Midlands Province, yesterday. — Picture: Justin Mutenda

Wallace Ruzvidzo

Herald Reporter

THE speed at which huge investments are being implemented at the Dinson Iron and Steel Plant in Manhize, accompanied by facilities for value addition and beneficiation, attest to the favourable investment climate created by the Second Republic, President Mnangagwa has said.

Addressing thousands of workers after touring the plant, he said: “This investment and the speed at which works are ongoing is a testimony of the confidence the investors of this project have in the conducive business environment and policies of the Second Republic.

“Over the years, the full potential of our iron ore resources and value chains have remained largely untapped. However, under the Second Republic, the milestones we are realising through exceptional teamwork, focus and determination from both public and private sector have seen the establishment of this national strategic project.

“It is therefore pleasing that our iron ore will be fully exploited, value added and beneficiated locally. This shift in focus allows us to realise maximum benefits from our natural resources, while also capitalising on the value chains including processing, manufacturing and the supply of high-value finished steel goods and products.” 

The President said by producing its own steel, Zimbabwe was priming itself for unprecedented infrastructure development, pursuant to the attainment of Vision 2030.

“The revitalisation of iron and steel industry in turn has immense potential to anchor the ongoing modernisation, industrialisation and growth of our economy. However, as we embark on this journey, we must continue to prioritise sustainability and responsible resource management.

“Modern technologies must be adopted towards minimising adverse environmental impacts. The well-being of our communities should not be overlooked. Mineral resources are finite hence their extraction should leave a positive legacy for future generations,” he said.

The President said the steel plant would stimulate growth in Zimbabwe’s economy, which would have the ultimate effect of improving people’s livelihoods.

“As you may be aware, Zimbabwe is home to vast deposits of minerals, including iron ore, which is a critical raw material with multiple applications across industries.

“Inputs for sectors such as the automotive industry, consumer durables, railways, aviation as well as construction and infrastructure development are derived from the iron and steel industry. Hence, this sector generates output and employment opportunities for numerous other industries,” he said.

“Value addition and beneficiation is the backbone of the National Development Strategy industrial transformation pillar for the attainment of Vision 2030,” he said.

In its first phase, the steel plant will produce 600 000 tonnes, 100 000 tonnes more than present local demand, and the production levels will gradually rise until peak levels of 5 million tonnes a year after the final planned phase when Zimbawbe becomes a major exporter.

An aerial view of the Dinson Iron and Steel company plant in Manhize, Midlands Province, yesterday. — Picture: OPC

President Mnangagwa said this would stimulate local industries.

“The steel plant will catalyse downstream industries, creating a positive ripple effect of economic growth and job creation. By producing steel locally, we can reduce our reliance on imports, stimulate local industries and foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Additionally, investing in iron ore processing and steel production aligns with our broader vision for sustainable development,” said President Mnangagwa.

He implored the Dinson Iron and Steel Company to expedite its operations so that maximum production levels are reached ahead of schedule.

“This project is indeed a strategic investment that will unlock broad economic potential and stimulate growth across all sectors of the economy. All efforts must therefore continue to be done so that the plant is completed and quickly brought to full production,” he said.

“It is my hope that all efforts will be made to ensure that outstanding works are completed as per the schedule for the production of both pig iron and steel billets and bars.”

President Mnangagwa commended Chinese companies for continuing with their investments in the country, in the true spirit of friendship.

“I applaud companies from the People’s Republic of China for the continued investments in our economy. This investment through Dinson Iron and Steel Company signifies more than just financial support; it represents a shared vision for a brighter future between Zimbabwe and China,” he said.

He applauded the workers for the hard work they had put in, saying the development of the project was truly a testimony that “nyika inovakwa nevene vayo”.

“To the men, youth and women who are working tirelessly to realise the completion of this project, I commend you for your dedication. Your hard work, commitment and contributions through our various skills is demonstrative of the possibilities that we can achieve as a united and peaceful people.

“Further guided by our national development philosophy that Nyika inovakwa, inotongwa inonamatigwa nevene vayo/llizwe lakhiwa, libuswe, likhulekelwe ngabanikazi balo’, as well as our foreign policy mantra, ‘Zimbabwe is a friend to all and an enemy of none’, we will undoubtedly realise the targets we set out towards a prosperous economy and higher standard of life for our people,” he said.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Soda Zhemu said Zimbabwe was headed in the right direction because of its focus on value addition and beneficiation as enunciated by President Mnangagwa.

“It is the cornerstone of a larger vision, the creation of a mining town which will serve as a hub for innovation and economic growth focusing on economic beneficiation and value addition,” he said.

Midlands Province’s Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Cde Owen Ncube said the province was grateful for the development happening under the Second Republic.

“This recognition has induced more energy, passion and desire to do even better without compromise towards the attainment of an upper-middle-income society earlier than 2030,” he said.

DISCO’s managing director Mr Benson Xu said the company was committed to aiding Zimbabwe’s development agenda.

“I saw mountains of iron ore and saw an opportunity for us to achieve the steel project in Zimbabwe and for Zimbabwe,” he said.

The vast project which has already employed 1500 Zimbabweans, is set to push out its first products in June this year.