Chitungwiza-based cooking oil manufacturer, Surface Investments has finished installing a new bottling plant, resulting in production rising from 3 million to 4,5 million litres a month.
Surface Investments is a joint venture between the Industrial Development Corporation with 26 percent and an Indian firm Midex Global, which holds 74 percent. Early this year the company announced plans to invest about $2,5 million in a new bottling line.
Company chairperson Narottam Somani said the new bottling plant was now running and producing 50 bottles per minute.
“It was installed about 15 days ago and is up and running. In terms of monthly production we are now at 4,5 million litres.”
Before installation of the new plant, the company was producing three million litres of oil a month.
The company is the process of renovating its plant to the tune of 42 million to improve production efficiencies including saving coal consumption by 30 percent.
Going forward, the company plans to install a new refinery within the next two years to triple production.
Surface Investments is the largest multi-oilseed processing plant in the country in terms of capacity. In addition to manufacturing cooking oil, the company exports crude oil to Malawi as well as cotton linters and hulls to South Africa and Europe.
Shortages of raw materials mainly soya beans and cotton seed, a liquidity crunch and stiff competition from cheap imported products have affected cooking oil manufacturers over the years. – New Ziana.