New investor set to throw lifeline to ex Zisco workers

By Chipo Gudhe

Ber Pig Iron and Steel Company (BPISC), a new player in the iron and steel industry, is set to provide a much-needed economic boost to Kwekwe District by employing hundreds of former Ziscosteel workers. This move comes as a lifeline for many who have been struggling since Ziscosteel’s decline.

BPISC has announced plans to invest US$48.3 million to establish a new plant in the district. The company is prioritizing the hiring of former Ziscosteel employees for their expertise in the industry. Bernard Mutanga, the CEO of BPISC, disclosed that the first phase of the project will create 1,000 jobs, with the full project expected to employ 15 000 people over the next five years.

BPISC CEO Bernard Mutanga chats with Minister of State for Midlands Owen Ncube at the recently held NDS1 expo in Kwekwe

“We are currently conducting a survey with our technical partners at the University of Zimbabwe. Our aim is to start by employing people who worked for Ziscosteel because of their expertise. The first phase will employ 1,000 people, but when the entire project is completed in five years, we will have a staff complement of 15000,” he said

The company, in collaboration with the University of Zimbabwe, is actively laying the groundwork for this big project. The initial phase of operations is slated to begin in mid-September or early October this year.

The BPISC processing plant is set to feature 10 blast furnaces, with an anticipated production capacity of 870,000 tonnes of pig iron per year.

The company is also set to put up a power plant of approximately 60MW.

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