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Power boost as JINYI invests in 300mw solar plant

MARTIN MAWAYA

GWERU based ferrochrome producer JINYI Enterprise Pvt Ltd has mooted plans to construct a solar farm and a coal fired thermal power station in the country, that generates more than 300 megawatts for its plant and the nation.

The 300mw electricity plant is set to employ more than 700 people and increase production capacity, with the local community expected to benefit from the excess energy, JINYI human resources manager, Melody Frank told The Midweek Watch.

Frank said that work is in progress to get the land from the government and licensing from Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA).

“Work is underway for the thermal power station, as soon as we get land, we will kick off this project. If things go as planned, we are looking at 12 months for us to kick off the massive project. We are also engaging ZERA on licensing and once we get this done, we will be on the ground and start employing people,” said Frank.

The thermal station will significantly boost Zimbabwe’s electricity output as well as reduce electricity blackouts and import costs.

Currently, electricity costs are choking the company operations and negotiations with ZESA to subsidize the Ferro-chrome sector to manageable charges are at an advanced stage.

JINYI started operations in Zimbabwe in 2016 and specializes in the production of ferrosilicon and low and high carbon ferrochrome with small scale miners being the major suppliers of raw materials.

The company is on 75% capacity with five electric furnaces, with a total production of 6 000 tonnes per month and 80 000 tonnes per annum.

Resultantly, more than 1 000 people are currently gainfully employed by the giant smelting firm.

It has also targeted to bring in latest user-friendly technology that will help to improve employee’s safety as well as modernizing and automating the firm’s plant.

Despite depressed global ferrochrome priced the company is soldiering on.

JINYI has withered the storm, as well as demonstrating its commitment to invest in Zimbabwe by actively engaging in value addition and beneficiation in the ferrochrome industry.

Speaking after a tour of the company’s plant yesterday, Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Owen Mudha Ncube said JINYI has set impressive investments in the Midlands Province that will propel its GDP.

“As the Midlands Province we appreciate JINYI enterprise’s contribution to the Ferro-chrome value chain and to the growth of our provincial GDP in particular, as we pursue an upper middle-income economy earlier than 2030.

“The Ferro-chrome investment marks a significant milestone achievement for the Second Republic’s policy shift to open the economy for investment to the private sector and to engage and re-engage the international community,” he said.

Minister Ncube said the Government was fully behind the giant Ferro-chrome entity’s initiatives and recognizes the importance of a reliable and affordable power supply as it is the catalyst for economic growth and development of industry and the country.

He hailed JINYI for employment creation to the locals.

Ncube added that the “government will continue to provide support and create an enabling operating business environment for the private sector to flourish”.

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