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Zimglass to revive National Glass

Post Time:Sep 22,2008Classify:Company NewsView:1391

ZIMGLASS Industries is set to resuscitate its National Glass subsidiary which has been lying idle for months through strategic alliances with Chinese firm Jingniu (Zimbabwe Investments) (Private) Limited, which will come in as a technical partner.

Jingniu is a medium-sized glass manufacturing company, which also is developing its own multi-million-dollar factory adjacent to the Zimglass factory.

National Glass is a subsidiary of Zimglass Industries, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) of Zimbabwe Limited.

"Plans are under way to resuscitate the plant. Jingniu has been engaged to assist the Zimglass team in the technical redesigning of the plant to determine whether we can use the current infrastructure to suit the new plant design," confirmed IDC public relations manger Mr Derek Sibanda.

The plant is expected to have a capacity of between 210 and 250 tonnes per day of float glass.

Float glass is mainly used in the manufacturing of soft drink bottles.

Mr Sibanda added that the technical exercises are now complete and they are currently working on the financial evaluation of the project.

The financial evaluation will also determine the equity participation of each party based on its contribution to the project.

However, the company ruled out reports of an anticipated merger with Chinese firm Jingniu.

Mr Sibanda said the resurgence of the plant is expected to cash in on growing domestic and regional demand for both float and flat glass.

In light of the considerable market growth and the company’s export drive, it was essential that the plant be upgraded to meet the demand.

"The markets are growing and in view of the IDC’s export strategy drive, we need to lift the capacity of Zimglass to meet both local and regional orders," he said.

Last year, the company indicated that it was undertaking a comprehensive market study to assess demand for bottles in the region as it was eyeing export markets.

Zimglass is the country’s sole glass manufacturer and is capable of producing and selling 2 250 tonnes of glass per month and has two furnaces, but only one is currently operational.

IDC and Delta Beverages jointly own Zimglass, with the former being the larger shareholder.

The refurbishment of the glass plant is expected to boost output levels for Delta’s soft drink manufacturing division.

It is anticipated that the in-house production of bottles would minimise soaring costs of production in a development that is set to enhance viability.

Market analysts said production of bottles would boost soft drinks demand in the forthcoming festive season.

"The initiative will result in the company being able to match increasing demand of soft drinks on the local market," said an analyst with a local stockbroking firm.

The sole glass manufacturer resumed commercial production last year in July following the breakdown of one of its furnaces.

Zimglass produces mineral, beer, soft drink and pharmaceutical bottles at its Gweru plant.

Source: The Sunday MailAuthor: shangyi

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