The Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe has adopted a two-pronged investment approach for Chemplex Corporation in its quest to restructure its operations into a viable entity.
Chemplex, is one of the oldest companies in Zimbabwe with six subsidiaries namely ZimPhos, Dorowa, Chemplex Marketing, Chemplex Animal and Public Health, GD Haulage and G and W Industrial Minerals.
Chemplex beneficiates phosphate rock used in the manufacture of fertilisers and also manufactures sulphuric acid, which is then converted to other industrial chemicals. It currently controls about 70 percent of the fertiliser industry and the whole phosphate chain as well.
Its subsidiary ZimPhos has an alum manufacturing plant built specifically for the City of Harare water works. It has the capacity to produce over 60 000 tonnes per year of liquid alumium sulphate plus another 12 000 tonnes per year of solid granular aluminium sulphate for other municipalities.
Overall, Chemples requires around $72 million over the next five years to ramp up production to enable it to meet the country’s demand for its products. An official at IDC Zimbabwe told Herald Business that the investment approach adopted for Chemplex involved raising funds at the same time continuing to look for investors who, however, have been elusive.
“IDC has started raising funds for Chemplex while also looking for investors. Chemplex has been struggling due to lack of recapitalisation so IDC decided to start raising funds for its subsidiary,” said the official.
Cabinet directed that IDC Zimbabwe should only consider industry players if it is to dispose of its stake in the chemical and fertiliser manufacturing unit.
According to sources, Windmill Private Limited through its investment company, was one of the investors shortlisted and eyeing a stake in Chemplex Corporation while another prominent local fund manager (name withheld) was also believed to have expressed interest but is now automatically not eligible.