Dedicated rail to $1bn steel project

The Chronicle

Prosper Ndlovu Dubai, UAE 

A NEW dedicated railway line network will be established to connect the US$1 billion stainless steel plant in Mvuma, Midlands Province, with the Indian Ocean ports in Mozambique.

The proposed investment is expected to boost bulk cargo movement between the two countries, which will open more opportunities for the tourism sector and unlock numerous downstream job opportunities.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Deputy Minister Mike Madiro revealed this here on Sunday where a Zimbabwean delegation drawn from tourism and transport sectors had a two-day engagement with potential investors and the diaspora community.

Chinese global investor, Tsingshan Holding Group, has commenced works on the giant iron ore and carbon steel plant following completion of preliminary groundwork and electricity connection to the project site in Manhize, Chikomba District.

The investment is seen as the largest steel plant in Southern Africa if not the whole of Africa and is expected to create up to 6 000 jobs.

“This is a multi-million dollar investment in stainless steel and because of the friendly business environment created under the vision of our President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Tsingshan has found it business worthy to establish in Zimbabwe in a big way,” said Madiro.

“They are proceeding to build a dedicated railway line to the ports in the Indian Ocean in Mozambique.

They will be developing a new railway project to Mozambique where they are going to develop a new port.”

Recent reports indicate that construction of administration offices is nearing completion, while access roads have been done to improve connectivity.

Although construction of the furnaces is at infant stage, the investor has already set up a cement mixing plant.

Deputy Minister Madiro said the proposed railway project would open wider business avenues downstream, and urged Middle East investors, who attended the tourism and infrastructure conference, to come on board.

“So, you can imagine the prospects for tourism growth given the rail link between Zimbabwe and Mozambique and we are saying this is an exciting moment for investors to come to Zimbabwe,” he said.

“This is going to broaden opportunities in terms of synergies, which makes a lot of business sense.

I am excited this project is going to impact positively in Manicaland through job creation and provision of social service and recreational facilities in areas like Nyanga, Vumba and Chimanimani, which will improve revenue streams.”

The Mvuma steel project would see Zimbabwe becoming a key steel supplier to the export market in addition to meeting its own domestic needs, thereby cutting in imports.

Deputy Minister Madiro said besides the proposed railway project, the country was only keen on investment partnerships in rehabilitating its entire railway infrastructure, including new projects on mass transportation, which will further modernise the country’s economy.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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