KWEKWE-BASED wire-making company, Lancashire Steel says it needs an additional ZWL$19 million to ensure it smoothly emerges from the woods after closing down in 2010 due to operational constraints.
The firm, which is about to resume operations recently received ZWL$2 million from Government through the Zimbabwe Asset Management Company (Zamco).
In an interview, Lancashire Steel general manager Mr Ezekiel Machingambi said the funding from Zamco was approved in 2017.
He said besides a few “sticking issues” that were being attended to by Government, they have since written to the Government requesting an additional ZWL$$19 million so that the company comes back to its full operations.
“In terms of our revival budget, we had budgeted for raw material as well as capital equipment, but a lot of movement in terms of pricing has taken place.
“We therefore have revisited our figures, the new prices have since been overtaken by events,” he said.
“We have since written to Zamco and to the relevant ministry requesting that we get an additional funding of about ZWL$19 million for us to be able to resume operations normally.
“When we made the request, the value of the RTGS was still 1:1 with the US dollar, but since then, a lot has been happening in the economy and the prices have gone up rendering the funding we received almost worthless.”
Although the company has received its first truck load of raw materials imported from South Africa, there were a lot of refurbishments that need to be undertaken at the plant before operations begin.
“We received about 29 tonnes of semi processed galvanised wire from South Africa.
“We are still expecting to secure the bigger chunk of our consignment which will comprise of wire rods, galvanised wire and so on.
“But they still have to undergo some extensive repair works for us to be able to start operations earnestly.
“For that reason, we have since submitted our supplementary budget to Government and they are looking into it and we hope it will get due recognition,” said Mr Machingambi.
He urged the Government to give the company due recognition saying it was a vital cog in the economy’s revival strategy.
“The revival of Lancashire Steel is very important in terms of not only creating employment but also improving production in the wire manufacturing industry. The company supports a lot of downstream companies if fully operationalised,” said the Lancashire Steel boss.
“We see a lot of potential in terms of scope. We are therefore saying Government should give the company high priority in terms of funding.”