NEELKANTH Group has invested US$14 million in the construction of an electric cable manufacturing plant in Masaiti on the Copperbelt.
Investment in the Neelkanth Cable Zambia Limited plant is expected to exceed US$40 million once the cable manufacturing machinery is fitted.
The plant, which will be manufacturing household, industry and high tension copper cables, is expected to roll out the first household wires in the first phase of the project by the end of the year.
Project Development Consultant Barnabas Zulu said in Masaiti on Sunday that the first copper wires in the three-phase construction project will be manufactured by December.
“The plant will be built in three phases with the first phase expected to roll out household cables by December,” Mr Zulu said
He was speaking when Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry permanent secretary Siazongo Siakalenge toured the copper cable manufacturing plant in Masaiti, Copperbelt Province.
Mr Zulu informed Mr Siakalenge that the initial steel fittings being done have created 80 jobs mainly to people in Senior Chief Chiwala’s area, adding that employment was expected to reach 250 in the full scale of the construction.
“For this initial stage of construction, we have 80 people employed mainly from this area but when the plant is complete we have to employ skilled staff from other towns.
“We have 80 people initially because of the type of work that is being done. We are fitting steel and as we start full construction, we will employ about 250 people. In the operation phase, when the three phases are done, 700 people will be employed here,” Mr Zulu said.
“Once the high tension cable plant is complete, there will be an extra US$40 million in investment,” he said.
And Mr Siakalenge noted that Government has come up with an industrialisation policy and what Neelkanth are doing is a direct response to Government’s call to the private sector to invest in Zambia.
Mr Siakalenge also said the company would use locally-produced copper cathodes from the mines in the production of different types of cables.
“What is important to also note is that they will create jobs and they are indicating that they have employed 80 people and by the time the project is complete, they will employ more,” he said.
Neelkanth director Vishnu Wadhawan added that the three-phase construction process will have the initial stage complete by the end of the year while the entire project should be fully operational by December next year.
Zambia Daily Mail