THE adjudication process to identify potential investors to resuscitate the defunct Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Zisco) has commenced and a successful investor is expected on the ground by December this year, the company has said.
Zisco public relations manager, Ms Patricia Muzenda, said the company’s board of directors will invite bids from successful shortlisted potential investors in order to come up with a successful candidate.
Zisco ceased operations at the height of hyper-inflation in 2008, and since then, efforts to revive the company have suffered false starts.
Industry and Commerce Minister, Dr Sekai Nzenza, is on record saying the Government was determined to ensure the defunct steel giant was revived this year.
“A number of potential investors have responded and an adjudication process has commenced. The adjudication process will result in the shortlisting of potential investors by the board of directors on the recommendation of the executive management team after, which an investor conference will be held,” she explained.
“The successful candidate will then carry out a due diligence on Ziscosteel and its subsidiaries and will lead to the implementation of the project from the beginning of December 2021.”
Expressions of interest from potential investors in Ziscosteel are now being adjudicated, she added, with the process due to be completed by the end of this month.
When it ceased operations, Zisco was still using the outdated batch production hence a new investor is expected to rebuild all processing plants to switch to the now standard continuous production process.
Ziscosteel still has other infrastructure and assets that have value that will allow a faster resumption of production than starting from scratch.
Two Chinese investors are now investing heavily in new steel mills and mines in other parts of the country with the Zisco revival efforts set to bring on board a third player.
Meanwhile, the ongoing asset forensic audit at the defunct steel giant, Ziscosteel, is nearing completion with most of the assets having been accounted for.
The Government embarked on a forensic audit at the defunct steel company to ascertain the losses at the amid reports of looting of assets by a well-orchestrated group comprising of former employees and security guards.
“Most assets have been identified through an asset audit that was recently carried out and the assets register is being updated accordingly,” said Ms Muzenda in a statement.
“The issue of security at the plant has been addressed through the number of security personnel and providing them with proper uniforms and equipment such as motor cycles for patrolling around premises and firearms. As a result of cases, theft and vandalism of equipment have significantly reduced over the last six months.”