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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: April 16th 2013


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:: Chinese Group Earmarks $20m for Zim Ferrochrome Smelter Acquisitions


Chinese chrome processor Afro-Chine Smelting says it is to spend more than $20-million on acquiring and building six chrome smelters in Zimbabwe, two of which will be commissioned in the country's Midlands province in July, initially producing up to 50 000 t/y of ferrochrome.

Afro-Chine Smelting, a subsidiary of China's second-biggest stainless steel products manufacturer, Tsingshan Group, says four more smelters will be set up in Zimbabwe during the course of this year as it moves to position itself as a leader in ferrochrome production in the Southern African Develop- ment Community (SADC) region.

Afro-Chine chairperson Philip Man told a media briefing in Harare that components for the first two smelters were en route to Zimbabwe from China and were expected to arrive at the end of April.

Erection, he said, would be completed by the end of June, paving the way for the commissioning in July. "Our smelting plant will be the largest in the country and perhaps the largest or second-largest in SADC region. We will be buying material from small-scale chrome producers and we will also support them to improve production and quality," Man said.

To avoid disruption of factory operations as a result of load-shedding, Man said, Afro-Chine Smelting had been assured of uninterrupted power supply, following negotiations with the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission & Distribution Company.

Afro-Chine Smelting operations director Benson Xu Kemin said the company expected to process 100 000 t/y of chrome ore when it attained full production. He said the company had already started stockpiling chrome ore ahead of the commissioning of the first two smelters in July.




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