Verify Engineering company, which recently launched an oxygen and nitrogen plant at Feruka near Mutare is expecting to start distribution by year end after completing certification as required by the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe.
The plant was officially launched by President Mnangagwa last month.
Yesterday, Verify Engineering chief executive Mr Pedzisai Tapfumaneyi appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development where he briefed them on progress.
He said the MCAZ had carried out its initial assessment of the medical oxygen plant and had made its recommendations.
“While the required purity of oxygen being produced at the Feruka plant of 99,6 percent has been attained, two major recommendations by MCAZ before certification were for Verify Engineering to enhance its quality assurance process by installing additional analysers with a broader spectrum to comply with World Health Organisation benchmarks on medical oxygen and also have shed storage for filled medical oxygen cylinders at the plant site and distribution depots,” he said.
He said they had managed to install and calibrate its online analysers and were working on storage facilities.
The WHO benchmarks focus on traceability mechanisms of every cylinder of medical oxygen from the point of production to the end user.
The country currently imports 3 900 tonnes of medical and industrial gases worth US$7 million and the new plant in Mutare is expected to drastically reduce the country’s import bill
Mr Tapfumaneyi said the plant had a capacity to produce 48 tonnes of medical oxygen per day which is more than enough to meet the country’s monthly demand of 150 tonnes per month.
The commissioning of the plant came at a time the country is battling the Covid-19 pandemic which has resulted in an increase in demand for medical oxygen.
He added that they were working on installing a solar power plant to produce 3MW of electricity which will greatly reduce their operation costs.
On the acetylene plant, he said nearly 80 percent of the works had been completed and was likely to be commissioned before the end of the year.
Acetylene is a fuel gas that can be used for welding and is also ideal for brazing, cutting, flame gouging, spot heating, hardening, texturing, cleaning, and thermal spraying many materials.