Martin Kadzere Senior Business Reporter
Construction firm, Beta Holdings, is set to commission a US$17 million stone crusher in Mvurwi, about 40km north east of Harare as it seeks to diversify the range of its products.
The Mvurwi plant is expected to directly create 200 jobs and thousands in the downstream activities mainly to benefit locals.
Designed to crush as much as 420 tonnes of rocks per hour, the highly automated plant from South Africa, will be the largest in the country, Beta spokesperson Cynthia Chizwina told The Herald Business during a plant tour yesterday.
“It is an extension of our product range . . . we want to be a one stop shop of construction products,” said Ms Chizwina, adding BETA also wanted to take advantage of business to be generated from rehabilitation and development of infrastructure projects such as roads.
Major ongoing construction projects nationally are the dualisation of the Beitbridge to Harare and Harare to Chirundu highways over and above private jobs such as residential and commercial properties.
Zimbabwe will need US$34 billion in the next decade to revamp its infrastructure to achieve sustainable levels of economic growth, according to the African Development Bank.
The huge chunk of approximately US$28,6 billion would go towards transport, mainly for roads upgrade and construction of new ones, AfDB said in its Zimbabwe Infrastructure Reports 2019, launched in Harare yesterday.
“We foresee big commercial projects such as national roads rehabilitation,” said Ms Chizwina.
Beta is the market leader in clay bricks supply industry.
The company is building a US$10 million brick factory in Goromonzi. The new factory, with annual capacity of 180 million bricks, is expected to be completed in 2021.
Its three factories in Mt Hampden, Harare, have annual capacity of about 170 million bricks.
Upon completion, the plant will be the most advanced brick factory in Zimbabwe and one of the largest in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the company.
Resource extraction would be mostly open cast.
“The resource at our 400-hectare (resource) claim can be mined for generations — we are talking of over 200 years even if we are to double the capacity,” said Ms Chizwina.
Apart from brick division and the aggregate plant, Beta also incorporates Beta Concrete and Beta Logistics. Beta Bricks is the first brick manufacturer in Zimbabwe to receive international certification for integrated ISO management systems.
The company offers a range of clay bricks, ranging from the popular common brick and over 21 different types of face brick.
The company currently operates a Steele 50 and Steele 75 plant as well as a specials (facebrick) plant in Mt Hampden.