via Zimglass suspends production | The Herald November 18, 2013
ZIMBABWE Glass Company, the country’s sole flint glass producer has temporarily suspended production due to inadequate raw materials, Zimglass acting chief executive, Mr Gilbert Tapfuma has said. Speaking during Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha’s tour of Zimglass on Friday, Mr Tapfuma said the cash-strapped Zimglass has been failing to source raw materials resulting in the company temporarily suspending production.
“We have limited working capital and as a result we have not been able to get the raw materials as and when we want them. We are appealing to Government to avail funds to support industry. We are also experiencing a decline in demand since we only have Delta as our main consumer,” he said.
Mr Tapfuma said Zimglass was working on identifying new markets in the region with the main target being Zambia where there is high demand of flint glass which is used to bottle soft drinks.
“We are now working on exploring other avenues by targeting regional markets such as Zambia, Mozambique among other countries in the southern African region so that we raise enough capital,” he said.
Zesa recently disconnected power supply to Zimglass over an outstanding bill.
It was, however, reconnected after Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Cde Jason Machaya negotiated with the power supply company.
The Gweru-based company recently resumed production of flint glass and was set to produce about 12 600 tonnes of the product between October and March next year.
The company suspended operations in September 2010 to embark on a refurbishment exercise of the blast furnace as well as replace outdated equipment.
However, the company failed to finish the exercise in the set six months owing to the liquidity crunch and this led the company to close shop for almost two years.
Zimglass received a US$7 million capital injection from parent company, Industrial Development Corporation of which US$5,5 million was supposed to go towards the completion of the refurbishment exercise while US$1,2 million would be working capital.