Proplastics commissions $1.3 mln PVC plant bringing total investment to $6 mln
HARARE – Proplastics Limited has invested in excess of $6 million since dollarisation towards modernising and upgrading its plant with the latest being the installation of a $1.3 million new PVC line.
The new line which was commissioned this morning will contribute 60% to total tonnage from current capacity of 12 000 tonnes a year and enhance cost efficiencies.
“The journey of upgrading the plant commenced when the economy dollarised in 2009 and to date we have pumped in more than $6 million as we endeavour to increase efficiency and capacity,” chief executive Kuda Chigiya said at the commissioning event.
The new equipment purchased from Germany will replace three old machines dating back to the 1980s and is able to produce pipes between 75mm and 250mm and withstand pressure of between 4 bar up to 25 bar
The introduction of a new machine, which has the latest technology in the pipe manufacturing industry worldwide, will see capacity utilisation increasing to 70% from the current 50%. It produces an average output of 250 tonnes of PVC and HDPE materials per month against the three machines which were producing a combined average of 100 tonnes of the same material per month.
Provided proper installation protocols have been followed the product has a design guarantee of over 50 years.
The commissioning of the PVC 9 plant follows that of the 400mm HDPE Plant in 2014.
Local industry has been muffled by lack of investment in equipment with some using antiquated machinery.
In a speech read on his behalf, Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha said with the new capacity and the small size of the Zimbabwean market, Proplastics needs to actively look for new markets in the region.
Minister Bimha also said the investment is in line with the spirit of Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, which is aimed at controlling imports while companies re-tool in order to improve product quality and eventually raise capacity utilisation. ”Retooling will allow the companies to be able to withstand competition when the temporary protection is removed.”
Non-exec director Herbert Mashanyare said the company’s business is anchored on anticipated projects in the construction, mining and local government as well as agriculture.
Mashanyare said the performance is also on the back of SI 64 of 2016 which restricted importation of certain goods which are also in line with the company’s products.