By Kenias Chivuzhe
State-owned timber giant, Allied Timbers, is targeting to increase production capacity by over 86 percent this year following a capital injection of US$19.8 million towards the construction of a sawmill in Cashel Valley.
Allied Timbers board chairperson, Itayi Ndudzo says the government owned entity has so far injected US$5.8 million towards the construction of the sawmill.
“Allied Timbers Zimbabwe is constructing a state-of-the-art sawmill plant which is intended to be a game changer to the operations of the company. It will service all the plantations in Cashel that are Nyambeya, Mudimu and Tandai.
“The expectation is that we will be able to harvest up to 300 hectares that will go through the sawmill annually. The timber is going to be specially processed and ear marked for the export market.
“For us to come to this state the company has US$5.8 million. The project requires up to US$12 million to complete the construction process. We are about 70 percent to complete the plant and we target to complete the construction process before the end of the year,” he said.
60 percent of the machinery sourced through a government facility is already in the country from Belarus and the firm is targeting the export market.
Acting Chief Executive Officer, Trymore Chivinge said, “Our production for the year will seat at about 112k cubic metres. This will be boosted by this plant.
“In the past we were facing challenges in reaching 60k cubic metres. This investment will lift up to our production and the quality of our products in order for us to penetrate export markets.”
The timber industry is expected to play a huge role in the success of the National Development Strategy One, which targets massive infrastructure development in the country and boosting export receipts.
Allied Timber was established following the unbundling of the Forestry Commission in 2003, which was meant to separate regulatory activities from commercial activities.
The intention was to enable both institutions to effectively pursue their mandates, with funds from the commercial wing supposed to assist in funding the regulatory functions.