Business

ZAFFICO plants K7m log treatment plant

KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
ZAMBIA Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) is investing K7 million to establish a pole treatment plant in Kitwe to help Zesco Limited and other companies reduce spending foreign exchange on the importation of transmission poles.
Currently, ZAFFICO does not sell timber logs but the installation of the pole treatment plant will promote value addition and increase the product range offered by the company.
In an interview last Friday, ZAFFICO managing director Frightone Sichone said the company has developed a strategic plan aimed at diversifying business through optimising value addition.
“We intend to encourage the private sector to plant trees, especially the fast-growing Eucalyptus species, then they will be able to sell to ZAFFICO for us to process instead of exporting raw timber.
“We are spending K7 million to establish a pole treatment plant where transmission poles will be produced for companies such as Zesco, Zamtel and others. This way they will reduce spending foreign exchange on the importation of this product,” he said.
And ZAFFICO plantation manager-pole treatment Donald Lumbeta said the plant will have a capacity to process 6,000 poles per month.
“We have stock-piled about 9,000 poles and over 1,000 poles have been treated. We import chemicals from South Africa because there is no local company to produce the commodity,” he said.
Copperbelt Forestry Company is currently treating the poles which usually cost over K1,600 while untreated poles cost about K700.00.

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