Tinashe Makichi Business Reporter
WORK on the construction of the $50 million tile and brick manufacturing plant in Gweru is set to commence after Government approved the transfer of land earmarked for the project to Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). IDC and its partners China National Materials Group Corporation, who together form Sino-Zimbabwe Cement, are set to construct the plant in three phases.
China National Materials Group Corporation pledged $20 million to the cement company for the setting up of a state-of-the-art brick and tiles manufacturing that will see the creation of over 200 jobs.
IDC public relations advisor Dereck Sibanda said the tile and brick factory could have been commissioned last year but there were delays with regards the transfer of title for Indiva Farm to IDC.
“I can confirm that Cabinet has approved the transfer of land to IDC. As part of the deal, IDC as the local partner was supposed to avail land and other civil works while the foreign partner would chip in with technology and working capital,” said Mr Sibanda.
He said IDC together with its parent ministry (Industry and Commerce) was now finalising modalities with Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement before construction starts.
The brick and tile manufacturing plant will rely on quarry shell and coal ash for raw materials which are by products of Sino-Zim Cement Company operations. The Cement Company has plans to export the bricks some which are used to line blast furnaces into the region especially South Africa.
The project which is estimated to cost about $50 million, will be in three phases. The first phase will see Sino Cement construct a brick manufacturing plant with a capacity of making 60 million bricks annually at a cost of about $20 million.
Once completed the project will generate more than 200 jobs for local people. Sino-Zim Cement currently has a workforce of close to 400. The company also has plans to construct an industrial park comprising sector-related industries in Gweru.