President Emmerson Mnangagwa is set to officially commission Willowton Mutare Refinery Plant today.

The company manufactures a wide range of products, which include edible oils, margarines and spreads, toiletries, laundry and bathing soaps, candles, chocolates, baking and industrial fats.

The construction of the $40 million plant in Mutare by a South African company Willowton was completed in 2016 and is expected to create 100 jobs directly.

Willowton, which operates three plants in South Africa produces the popular D’lite cooking oil brand, well known on the domestic market.

The project is expected breathe life in Mutare’s business sector, which in the recent years experienced de-industrialisation as many companies were forced to close due to economic challenges.

Zimbabwe has four main oil expressers which are ETG Parrogate, Surface Investments, Olivine and United Refineries and Willowton will be another edition.

Due to a shortage of oil seeds in Zimbabwe, manufacturers are largely depending on importing crude edible oil for refining.

In 2014, Government imposed import restrictions on cooking oil with locally manufactured products now occupying about 95 percent of local supermarket shelf space.

Previously, South African cooking oil brands, particularly D’lite dominated the market.

In future, Willowton is looking at establishing an outgrower programme for oil seeds.