COKING coal producer, South Mining, has invested $50 million into the construction of a new battery oven at its Hwange plant.
The company targets to produce more than 400 000 tonnes of coke per annum by 2020. It processes “Run Out of Mine” coal into coking coal, which is smelted into coke. Coke, whose by-products include crude tar, benzol and coke oven gas, is a critical component in the ferrochrome and stainless steel smelting industry and has high export demand than ordinary thermal coal.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Raj Modi on Friday toured South Mining battery oven plant and the site for a new oven where construction is underway.
South Mining general manager Mr Chenji Li said the first phase of construction of the new oven battery will be completed in October and full capacity production realised in January next year.
“We have put $51,2 million in our new project, which we are doing in phases with production set to start next year. Once we start producing we expect to bring in about $36 million in foreign currency through export,” said Mr Li.
The company which intends to increase production to 420 000 tonnes per annum once it completes building the two new oven batteries, said it will in the process create bout 300 new jobs.
Mr Li said his company was planning to supply gas to Zimbabwe Power Company to replace the diesel the electricity company was importing from South Africa.
On Thursday, the Deputy Minister toured Hwange Colliery Company as well as Victoria Falls crocodile farm to assess production.
Deputy Minister Modi said there was a need for Hwange Colliery Company to engage partners for retooling to replace it ageing equipment and machinery.—chronicles.co.zw