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China’s Tsingshan $1 bln steel plant in Zimbabwe starts production

CHINA’S nickel giant Tsingshan Holding Group has started production at its $1 billion steel plant in central Zimbabwe, a company official said.

Tsingshan’s Dinson Iron and Steel Company will produce 600,000 metric tons of carbon steel annually during the first phase of its operations, project director Wilfred Motsi told reporters during a tour of the plant.

“We have started to produce pig iron, which is a raw material used for the production of steel. By July, that’s when we will start to produce the actual carbon steel,” Motsi said.

He did not say how long the first phase would last.

Tsingshan, one of the world’s leading nickel producers, has made significant investments in Zimbabwe in recent years. Apart from the steel plant, Tsingshan also has ferrochrome, coking coal and lithium mining businesses in the southern African country.

The company has also built a 50-megawatt thermal power plant at Dinson. The steel plant will generate additional power through gas produced by its furnace, to meet 20% of its electricity needs.

The company also plans to build a solar power plant to reduce the impact of Zimbabwe’s electricity shortages on its operations.