HomeNewsSable Chemicals commissions $1m transformer

Sable Chemicals commissions $1m transformer

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KWEKWE — The country’s sole ammonium nitrate fertilizer manufacturer, Sable Chemicals, yesterday said it had managed to install a new $1 million 88 kilovolt (KV) power transformer at its plant after the original unit exploded four years, forcing production levels to drop significantly.

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“The factory is designed to run on two main transformers which share the load and without the other transformer, one transformer cannot carry the factory’s total load and the risk of overloading getting it damaged existed,” Sable Chemicals chief executive officer Jack Murehwa said.

“Now that we have the other transformer installed and commissioned, the risk is significantly reduced as the two transformers work together in parallel,” he said.

Sable Chemicals had previously hired transformers from Zambia at a higher cost just to keep the plant running.

The 88KV transformers are used to step down power supplied on the main line from 88KV to 33KV to ensure that plant machinery can handle the voltage.

The plant also has another two transformers which further step down voltage to 11kv for ancillary equipment such as lighting and other small machinery within the plant.

Despite the latest developments, Murehwa said production at Sable Chemicals had remained depressed due to power outages.

“We always have discussions with the relevant authorities with regards to the power we require at any point in time. Indeed, we are hopeful that power will be availed for us to produce ammonium nitrate at higher levels especially with the imminent rainy season,” he said.

Currently the plant is operating at less than 40% owing to power challenges.

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