Dinson, Zent in steel tower plant deal In this file picture, President Mnangagwa unveils a plaque at the Dinson Iron and Steel Company groundbreaking ceremony while Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and other senior Government officials look on in Manhize, Chirumhanzu. — Picture: Justin Mutenda

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter

The new Dinson steelworks at Manhize near Mvuma and a Zesa subsidiary are setting up a steel galvanising plant that from the end of next year will make the steel towers needed for transmission lines and many other steel products.

The deal is part of a memorandum of understanding signed last week by Zesa’s manufacturing subsidiary, Zent, and the Dinson Iron and Steel Company, the Zimbabwean subsidiary of the giant Tsingshan group making a multi-billion dollar investment into Zimbabwean steel, coking coal and power.

Dinson is moving rapidly to build its steelworks and already has a close relationship with Zesa over the 100km main grid powerline linking Manhize with the main north-south grid near Kwekwe.

Galvanising is when steel or iron is dipped into molten zinc to produce a very thin coating. This protects the steel by reacting with oxygen first from the air to form zinc oxide which in turn reacs with carbon dioxide to produce zinc carbonate, a tough coating dull grey in colour that is what most people notice about galvanised products.

In a joint statement by Dinson and Zent, the two firms confirmed that they registered a milestone by signing an MoU last Thursday for a plant to value add steel products.

“The MoU was signed on Thursday 20 October 2022 by the chairman of Dinson Iron and Steel Company, Mr Benson (Xu) and Mr Burutsa Mandipezano, the acting managing director of Zent. The MoU will see the two parties jointly set up a steel galvanising plant and machine shop for value addition of steel products to be commissioned by December 2023. The steel beneficiation project will substantially cut the country’s import bill on steel products and provide capacity for exports into the region.”

The two firms said the plant will produce other electricity transmission requirements, something that will further reduce Zesa’s import bill.

“The project will also see the country develop internal capacity to manufacture electricity transmission and communication steel towers, steel support structures for dams, bridges and solar plants,” said the two firms.

“Through funding support from Dinson, the two entities will also embark on the development of renewable energy solutions including green energy parks and manufacture and assembly of solar products and accessories and related electricity end use infrastructure development equipment manufacture, supply and maintenance services.

The landmark collaboration between Zent and Dinson will support local and regional infrastructure development and create employment opportunities in a wide range of downstream industries in support of National Development Strategy 1 and 2.

Early this month, President Mnangagwa led a groundbreaking ceremony at Manhize where the US$3 billion plant’s first phase will be established – with deposits projected to last for more than 100 years – in which the Head of State and Government said Zimbabwe is on an upward trajectory.

Like most metals, steel as a raw material and intermediate product, is critical in the development of any nation.

The production, usage and consumption of steel products is regarded widely as an indicator of economic progress and overall sustainable socioeconomic development.

The project is expected to go full throttle next year and will make Zimbabwe an exporter of carbon iron that is essential in assembling vehicles and also widely used in the construction sector.

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