DISCO sets up US$750m iron & steel plant in Chivhu

By Justin Mahlahla

Cabinet has advised that Dinson Iron and Steel Company (DISCO) (Pvt) (Ltd) is setting up a Greenfield integrated iron and steel plant, alongside mining of iron in the Chivhu District of Mashonaland East Province and Chirumanzu District of the Midlands Province.

The US$750 million investment, which will significantly contribute to the country’s economic growth, was announced by the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa in Tuesday’s post-Cabinet briefing.

“DISCO has accordingly applied to be connected to the national electricity grid in order to access the requisite power for its plant operations. The electricity transmission line will stretch from the Kwekwe-Sherwood Substation to DISCO’s iron and steel manufacturing plant at Manhize in Chivhu,” Minister Mutsvangwa said.

To finance this connection, ZETDC will enter into a Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement whereby DISCO will pre-finance both phases of the construction project, as a loan to the utility company.

The loan will be recovered from ZETDC through deductions from DISCO’s monthly bills until the loan is paid up, over an estimated 5-year period.

“Cabinet invites public to note that this electricity line will not only be dedicated to DISCO, but will also be available to other ZETDC customers along the way. In terms of the PPP, the utility will use 40% of the electricity.

“During Phase 1 of the project, DISCO will require only a fraction of its 60% allocation, leaving the rest available to ZETDC. The partnership will therefore allow DISCO to access a reliable and regular supply of power from ZETDC for their iron mining and processing operations on time. Local communities will benefit by receiving consistent power supplies,” added Minister Mutsvangwa.

The investment is among many that have come to Zimbabwe under the Second Republic’s Zimbabwe Is Open for Business mantra, with a view to transform the economy into an empowered upper-middle class by 2030, in line with the goals of the National Development Strategy 1.