As government works on the finer details to revive Zisco through a $1 billion deal with a Chinese investor R and F Properties, the company’s management has expressed confidence that in no time the investor will be on site working towards resuscitating the economic giant.
There is a glimmer of hope for the giant steel company, downstream industries and job seekers as government has intensified efforts to resuscitate Zisco through the partnership.
Government has also undertaken to assume the company’s half a million dollar debt so as to make it attractive to investor.
Zisco chief executive officer Mr Alois Gowo said the investor is already in the country to discuss the finer details to the deal with the parent ministry and other stakeholders so that work can commence.
“We are hoping that very soon we will start seeing the investor establishing on site, when exactly we don’t know but what we know is that some of the Chinese are now back in the country after their annual or new year festivities in their country. I think that is when they will indicate to us the ministry and the board of Zisco their strategic plan when they will complete and what will take place in the place, but we are eagerly waiting for them to arrive on site. Zisco is coming back and we look forward to this investor completing negotiations with the shareholders and the board of Zisco. Finer details we don’t have in that they are communicating understandably with government through our ministry,” said Mr Gowo.
While the super structure and blast furnaces at Zisco require a complete overhaul, Mr Gowo said their steel plants are state of the art and the investor will only need to retro fit the technology on the existing plants.
In the steelmaking were we convert to hot metal from blast furnace into steel were we use oxygen from sables. There is state of the art technology that was put by the Germans Commissions towards 2000. So up the steel making we were producing billets the plant are relatively reasonable in their state of operation but the super structure as you look from outside they have been standing idle for years they have been exposed to weather elements. Yes they are innovations that keep coming but we can retro fit that technology to existing plants at very economical prices without necessarily buying a brand new plant,” he said.
Zisco was once Africa’s largest integrated steel works contributing close to a billion dollars to the country’s GDP.
Its demise left a huge dent on the country’s economy as downstream industries collapsed leaving many jobless.