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Dinson Iron and Steel to Begin Test Runs at Manhize Steel Plant

The Chinese firm, Dinson Iron and Steel Company, is set to begin test runs for its massive steel plant in Manhize, near Mvuma, next month following the completion of construction.

Local industry players are eagerly anticipating the local supply of raw materials, which is expected to bring significant economic benefits to the country, including a reduction in steel imports and conservation of foreign currency.

Dinson project director Mr. Wilfred Motsi stated that while the exact date for the test run is yet to be confirmed, it is tentatively planned for this month. “Production is planned to commence in June as construction of the plant has been completed and the electricity transmission line from Sherwood in Kwekwe to Manhize has been completed. All things being equal, we expect a test run to be conducted anytime this month before the first production begins in June,” he said.

In the initial phase, Dinson is scheduled to produce 600,000 tonnes of steel, which will increase to 1.2 million tonnes in the second phase. Early production will focus on pig iron, followed by steel billets and steel bars by year-end.

The Zimbabwe Institute of Foundries (ZIF) expressed excitement as the historic moment approaches, with the commencement of operations expected to drive growth in the sector. Dinson, a subsidiary of China’s Tsingshan Holdings Limited, has invested US$1.5 billion in the construction of this steel plant.

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Locally, Tsingshan’s other subsidiaries include Afrochine Smelting in Selous and Dinson Colliery in Hwange. This investment, a key project of the Second Republic, is set to conduct a test run soon, with production starting in June.

ZIF chief operating officer Mr. Dosman Mangisi stated that their members are preparing for the opening of the Dinson steel plant, which is crucial for the revival of the local engineering, iron, and steel sector.

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“The commencement of operations at the steel plant will definitely yield a major impact and change to the local industry, which at the moment is grappling with the shortage of raw materials.

A proclamation has already been made that the Manhize steel plant construction is complete, and as players in the foundry sector, we are geared to tap into the opportunities presented by the operationalization of that plant,” he said.

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Before the closure of Zimbabwe Steel Company (Zisco) in 2008, the local industry had access to raw materials at a relatively lower cost. At its peak in the 1990s, Zisco produced over one million tonnes of steel annually and employed more than 5,000 people.

Mr. Mangisi added that ZIF, with over 200 members, expects to see rapid growth in membership as the Dinson project attracts new investments. Output at the steel plant is projected to rise to 3.2 million tonnes in the third phase and ultimately reach five million tonnes annually in the final phase, supplying a wide range of products to Zimbabwean industry and creating 10,000 direct jobs.

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