THE deal in which ZimCoke (Private) Limited is set to revitalise a coke plant within Ziscosteel now awaits Cabinet approval.
The company took over a coke oven within Ziscosteel in a $133 million deal viewed as the first step towards revitalisation of the steel giant.
ZimCoke and Zisco signed an agreement of sale in 2017 where the former bought the coke-making assets of Zisco consisting of the plant and machinery, land and buildings, and associated infrastructure of coal handling and infrastructure.
Refurbishments are expected to begin soon after Cabinet gives the nod and production is expected to start before the end of the year.
In an interview, ZimCoke consultant Mr Eddie Cross said the deal was now hinged upon Cabinet approval before refurbishment work can commence.
“We cannot do anything before Cabinet okays the deal. Once that is done, we are good to start work on the site. Once the Cabinet gives the go ahead, we are going to take between six to eight months before we start exporting,” he said.
The company has since engaged the services of a Germany Engineering Consultancy Company, ThyssenKrupp Engineering, for the refurbishment of the coke plant before it starts operations.
The refurbishment of the plant is the last hurdle before the company commences production, which is expected before the end of the year.
The company is also in the last stages of honouring a $225million debt owed by Ziscosteel to Germany bank KFW, marking full ownership of the coking plant.
ZimCoke management together with ThyssenKrupp engineers recently toured the plant to assess the impact and the work needed. Mr Cross said once the deal sails through, refurbishment work will start.
“These are a technical consultancy and they are on site to carry out an assessment of how much work needs to be done as we await the decision by Government. Once that is done we are ready to start refurbishment and within six months, exports will begin,” he said.
ZimCoke recently announced plans to invest about $75 million into Hwange Colliery Company Limited’s coke division in a bid to capacitate the company and enhance increased production.
The firm took over a coke oven battery plant segment within Ziscosteel under a $133 million deal.
At full capacity, the project is expected to produce 500 000 tonnes of coke annually, for both local usage and the export markets.