PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said Government is going to support Sable Chemical Industries, the sole Ammonium Nitrate fertiliser manufacturer in the country, with foreign currency it needs to increase production ahead of the summer cropping season.
Addressing guests and senior Government officials who included Vice President Constantino Chiwenga at company’s plant just outside Kwekwe yesterday, President Mnangagwa said the success of the company will have a ripple effect on the growth of other industries.
President Mnangagwa said his Government was working tirelessly to ensure that closed and distressed industries were resuscitated.
Sable Chemical Industries requires $200 million to set up a new plant that will see the surge in output of AN fertiliser to about 200 000 tonnes per annum in two years time.
“Sable Chemical Industries is a strategic contributor to the country’s industrialisation agenda and the success of the modernisation of the agricultural sector. It occupies a unique space in this economy and its success will yield a wide range of cross-cutting benefits. I pledge my Government support in your endeavours to grow the company and meaningfully contribute to the resuscitation of the economy. It is necessary for Government to support the company with the foreign currency it needs to increase production,” he said.
Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa said, is one of the few Southern African countries with a facility that produces Ammonium Nitrate.
“This demonstrates its potential to be one of the leading exporters of Ammonium Nitrate. In this regard I urge the company to take advantage of the regional markets within Sadc, Comesa and the rest of the African continent to export its surplus output to stimulate export growth and earn foreign currency,” he said.
President Mnangagwa challenged management to take advantage of the company’s strategic location in Kwekwe to increase multi sectoral synergies throughout the country.
“The success of Sable Chemical Industries will have a ripple effect on the growth of other industries and the economy at large. My Government is working tirelessly to ensure that closed and distressed industries resume operations,” he said.
The availability of affordable fertilisers, the President said, has a positive impact on farm productivity levels and national food security.
“The success of Command Agriculture programme during the 2016/17 farming season saw the annual demand for top dressing fertilisers rising to 110 000 tonnes for the summer cropping season alone and with the expected increase in hectarage under crops this coming summer farming season, this volume is bound to increase sharply and Sable Chemical Industries must stand ready to meet the demand,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said Government had put in place concrete measures for a more efficient, reliable and modern railway network to benefit companies such as Sable Chemical Industries that depend on railway to transport their raw materials and finished products.
He welcomed the company’s initiative to produce Ammonium Nitrate solution for use in the production of explosives for the mining sector. “This is a welcome initiative in view of the anticipated growth in the mining sector. In addition it is a good example of the linkages that Government is keen to see taking root in our economy,” said President Mnangagwa.
The President applauded the company’s recent initiative to reinvigorate the production process by ceasing the electrolysis method to produce Ammonia gas thereby releasing approximately 90 megawatts of electricity onto the national grid annually.
“In addition I commend the company’s long term plans to use coal-bed methane or natural gas to produce Ammonia gas which will be used to manufacture Ammonium Nitrate and Urea, which will ultimately reduce the price of top dressing fertilisers. This resonates with the Government’s concerted efforts to value add and beneficiate our natural resources,” he said. Chronicle