Zim govt invites fresh bids for Zisco

April 13, 2021

LIVINGSTONE MARUFU

Government has invited fresh bids from prospective investors to revive operations at the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Zisco).

In a letter of invitation to the tender, acting board chairman, Martin Manuhwa said: “Zisco is seeking investors who would be interested in availing funds [equity/debt] to resuscitate this former iron and steel producing company.”

Expressions of interest should be delivered by April 30, 2021.

The Redcliff-based steel producer stopped operations in 2008 due to chocking  financial constraints.

Before its collapse, Zisco, was once Africa’s largest integrated steel works with a capacity to produce one million tonnes of the commodity annually.

An Indian investor Essar Africa Holdings took over the beleaguered steelmaker  in 2011 and rebranded it to NewZim Steel.

Essar had committed to  invest US$750m  in Zisco.

The deal first stalled due to bickering in the inclusive government over mineral concessions.

Eventually, Essar pulled out of the deal in 2015  after endless battles to resolve Zisco’s indebtedness  and other issues.

In 2019, a Chinese investor, R&F of China, expressed interest to invest US$1bn in Zisco.

But, the deal also collapsed.

Manuhwa said evaluation of the lodged expression of interest will be carried out and if successful the investor will be invited to participate in the bidding process for the funding.

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