By FELIX NKINKE
A ZAMBIAN steel manufacturing company is to invest an estimated â‚¬73.7 million to set up a factory in Kalulushi.
Good Time Steel Zambia general manager Jacky Huang said in an interview recently that the company would spend the amount over a two-year period.
â€œWe have an ambitious project being undertaken in Kalulushi worth millions of euros. This project will see us double our steel production capacity and also upgrade our production equipment and processes at our Lusaka plant,â€ he said.
He said Good Steel was negotiating with the municipality in Kalulushi to secure land and with Zesco for the supply of electricity.
The Lusaka-based company currently produces about 50,000 metric tonnes (Mt) of steel per year but has capacity to manufacture 80,000 Mt.
However, with the construction of the Kalulushi factory the company has projected to double production to about 100,000Mt annually.
Mr Huang said the company exports about 40 percent of its steel products to eight countries in the southern African region and intends to grow the market to cover other regions on the continent.
â€œWe are targeting to become the regionâ€™s best source of quality steel with a product range and service tailored to the needs of our clients in the region,â€ Mr Huang said.
He said Good Steel, which has over 500 full-time workers, has over the years realised a turnover of over â‚¬22 million annually and seeks to maintain its position as one of the best manufacturers of steel in the region.
Mr Huang said the companyâ€™s key strategy was to keep the cost down and ensure that the products meet regional standards.
He said the competition being created by new steel companies entering the market was good for the country as this would result in improved standards.
Meanwhile, Mr Huang said Zambiaâ€™s good economic policies were attracting investors in the country.
He said tax incentives, political stability and a peaceful environment have been catalysts for development of the private sector in Zambia.
He, however, bemoaned the under-developed infrastructure, unreliable electricity supply and high interest rates which are adversely affecting business in Zambia.
Mr Huang was happy that Government was making efforts to improve the investment environment and make the country one of the fastest growing economies in Africa.
By FELIX NKINKE