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Local firms ramp up production

SEVERAL local companies  have started ramping up production capacity in anticipation of increased demand expected to be driven largely by the prevailing stability and brighter economic growth prospects this year.

The country’s economy is forecast to grow by 7,8 percent in 2021, while the agriculture sector-which is seen growing by 34 percent in 2021, is anticipated to register further growth next season. Strong global metal prices are also expected to underpin growth in 2021.

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed brick maker, Willdale Limited, said plans were underway to ensure production would meet the expected demand for bricks.

“We will be enhancing our clay crushing capacity and our mobile equipment for brick movement to the tune of US$1 million,” Mr Nyasha Matonda, the company’s chief executive said.

The Government under the National Development Strategy (NDS1) and Vision 2030 is targeting to construct 220 000 houses and flats by 2025.

Piping products producer Proplastics Limited, said with the business environment improving, and plans put in place to ensure consistent supply of raw materials, it expected that the demand for the Group’s products will continue to be firm.  It said the company will also minimise product supply gaps.

The company also expects to complete a new polyvinyl chloride (PVC) 500mm extrusion production line at the end of the year, for commissioning in the first quarter of 2022.

“This new line will help address the demand for large bore PVC diameter pipes, which continues to grow and will increase production capacity,” the company noted.

The piping products producer migrated to a new factory at the beginning of 2020’s and the factory is now operating at full capacity.

Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC), Zimbabwe and Africa’s only integrated nickel producer, said it would ramp up output from 3 330 tonnes to 8 000t per annum and the long-term goal is to produce at least 10 000 tonnes of nickel per annum.

The company said it had large and underutilised processing capacity and Trojan Mine had a sound processing plant with approximately 60 percent excess capacity at current production rates.

“This plant has an installed capacity to process up to 1 million tonnes per annum that is why we are looking to attain and then sustain the production of 10 000 tonnes of nickel per annum,” the company said.

Property focused company Mashonaland Holdings (Mashhold) said it was pursuing a new project to develop and lease a hospital for a private entity operating in the medical sector.

The company’s managing director, Mr Gibson Mapfidza, said Mashhold had already signed an agreement for the project to commence and it is currently at the pre-construction stage.

“The project is currently at pre-construction stage where the project team is working on the design development and local authority’s approvals. Construction activity is expected to commence in the last quarter of the year,” Mapfidza added.

The company recently launched a housing project in Bluff Hill, the Mashview Gardens, which is ongoing and is expected to be complete in 18 months.

Mapfidza said the company completed the construction of a model house for the Mashview Gardens project and project marketing and pre-selling was underway with the Company currently negotiating disposal contracts with prospective buyers.

Dairibord said the group remains committed to supporting local farmers to grow milk supply through actively promoting lower cost operating models in a bid to bring prices back to regional parity in the medium term.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) through the foreign currency auction market has been able to bring currency stability and improve foreign currency access to manufacturing firms.

Data provided by the Central Bank for the period June 2020 to the end of August 2021shows that the bulk of the allotted funds at 60 percent has gone towards payment of raw materials amounting to US$794,7 million and machinery and equipment worth US$382,5 million.

Raw materials alone accounted for 40 percent of the US$1,967 billion total allotted to companies at a value of US$794,7 million whilst machinery and equipment accounted for 19 percent at US$382,5 million.

The remaining 40 percent of the cumulative total has gone towards payment for consumables, pharmaceuticals, and other critical needs of the economy.

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