$70m smelting plant coming to Lusaka


GOOD Time Steel Company Zambia Limited will invest about US$70 million in setting up a modern smelting plant this year to double its production capacity to 100,000 tonnes per annum.
Company deputy general manager Durban Kambaki said to date, the firm had invested between $125 million and $130 million into the Zambian economy.
Mr Kambaki said the construction of the modern smelting plant would commence this year and was likely to be completed by end of 2015.
‘‘The modern smelting plant once completed would improve on the quality of the steel, making it one of the best steel in terms of quality in Africa,’’ he said.
Speaking at the plant in Lusaka, Mr Kambaki said the current plant was 70 metres long and the new smelting plant would cover 400 metres long, saying that it would be able to cast, cool, smelt and process the steel.
Mr Kambaki said the company had employed a total of 450 local people as at April 30, 2014, and about 70 people would be employed on a short-term basis.
‘‘With the coming of the new smelter, the employment levels will go up and our production will also increase from 50,000 tonnes per annum to 100,000 tonnes per year,’’ he said.
Mr Kambaki said about 70 per cent of the steel was sold on the local market and 30 per cent went to the regional market like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Zimbabwe and Burundi.
He said to beef up its sales, the company would soon be getting a standard certification from the South African Bureau of Standards to add on to the Zambia Bureau of Standard (ZABs)
He said the industry was faced with a challenge of lack of the metallurgy skills to support the steel industry.
‘‘There is no institution in Zambia that teaches metallurgy at the lowest level, you will only be able to get a first degree from the University of Zambia and no one else is teaching metallurgy at certificate or diploma level, ’’ Mr Kambaki said.