MASVINGO – Government has announced plans to set up an ammonium sulphate plant in Bikita in development that will see the country saving in excess of $50 million in hard currency per annum for water purification chemicals.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said the plant will be build withing the coming two years.
The Cabinet minister, who was addressing stakeholders recently during a luncheon at Masvingo Polytechnic dubbed,“Principal’s Dinner”,said the country was on course to achieve middle income economy status by 2030 through opening new jobs opportunities and growing its Gross Domestic Product.
“We are also working on establishing an ammonium sulphate plant in Bikita where the country will be saved from incurring about $50 million in importing the chemical per year.
“The chemical is used in water purification and we will be producing it in our own country and also being able to export some of it,” said Minister Chitando
He said the ambitious project which should be in full swing in two years time would employ more than 300 people, thereby addressing unemployment challenges.
“We have to be self sufficient by 2030. We should be able to employ our people and this project(in Bikita) will create not less than 300 direct jobs reducing unemployment in the province. Our aim under the new dispensation led by President Mnangagwa is to achieve a middle income economy by 2030. There is no doubt that will be achieved,” said Minister Chitando.
Government, the Cabinet Minister added,was also planning to increase production of lithium in the country and a pilot project was already in motion in Kwekwe.
“Apart from Bikita Minerals where we are mining lithium, we have a pilot plant in Kwekwe in the Midlands. We have already done a test run on our ability to produce lithium carbonate,”he said.
Minister Chitando said Foreign Direct Investment that came into the country following the advent of the new dispensation in November last year, has already surpassed investments made in the country for the past 37 years.