Steel production drastically drops

THE dwindling scrap metal supply in the country led to the drop in Universal Mining and Chemical Industries Limited (UMCIL) production from 52,000 tonnes of steel in 2015 to 45,000 tonnes last year.
UMCIL/Trade Kings civil engineer Ernest Mande said the company has also reduced monthly production to 4,000 tonnes from about 10,000 tonnes due to reduced supply of scrap metal.
Mr Mande said in an interview on Friday that production started reducing in 2014 due to the challenges in raw material supply..
“We have reduced production to 45,000 tonnes in 2016 from 52,000 tonnes in 2015 due to the declining scrap metal from the local source, coupled with load shedding.
“But due to improved rainfall pattern in the 2016/17 season, we expect power rationing to reduce as Zesco will be able to generate more power,” he said.
He said in 2014, UMCIL produced 86,400 tonnes while in 2015, production dropped further to 52,000 tonnes.
The company started production in 2008 at 268 tonnes and increased to 76,600 tonnes in 2012, and stood at 90,700 tonnes 2013.
Commenting on President Lungu’s call for consumers to buy local products in his address on the state of the nation on Friday, Mr Mande said the company has embarked on several initiatives to attract local buyers such as marketing programmes.

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