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MM Integrated Steel Mills, a Tanzanian firm, is to invest $40mn in the establishment of a roofing sheets manufacturing plant in Zambia.
The company, which is enhancing its footprint on the Southern African market, has chosen Zambia as its anchor for the penetration.
MM Steel is in a joint venture with National Development Company to start producing sponge iron for the local market.
The investment is in two phases with $20mn earmarked for the first phase of the plant which will produce corrugated roofing sheets with installed capacity of 4,000 tonnes per month and employing 200 people.
According to the company’s public relations officer Abubakari Mlawa, the other $20mn would go into Phase Two in which the firm would be manufacturing colour roofing sheets.
MM Steel’s investment in Zambia is important, taking into account the fact that there were potential markets in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Namibia and Zimbabwe.
“By investing in Zambia, MM Steel aims to strengthen relationships and securely capture flat steel demand which is expected to grow,” said Mlawa.
Of the 4,000 tonnes per month, 2,500 tonnes would be exported to DRC, Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique, Angola and Namibia.
“We already have markets in DRC, Malawi and Mozambique but as soon as our production is up, we will go for Angola and Namibia,” said Narendra Jain, the company’s director of finance and administration.
About 1,500 tonnes of corrugated roofing sheets would be produced per month for the local market
The company’s plant in Dar es Salaam has an installed capacity of 24,000 tonnes of corrugated iron sheets per year. It is the second major steel operation in Tanzania after Aluminium Africa Limited.
By Nawa Mutumweno