Plastics manufacturer, Proplastics Limited, has commissioned a $1,3 million polyvinyl chloride (PVC) extrusion line plant, with the company saying it is reaping the fruits of import restrictions.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
The company says with the promulgation of Statutory Instrument (SI) 64 of 2016, it expects capacity utilisation to grow from 50% to 70%.
In a speech read on his behalf by Never Katiyo, from the ministry’s legal department, Industry and Commerce minister Mike Bimha said companies needed to retool to take advantage of SI 64 of 2016 to ensure they not only raise their capacity utilisation, but offer improved product quality.
“Retooling will allow the companies to be able to withstand competition when the temporary protection is removed,” he said.
“I urge all companies to emulate this and embark on a plant recapitalisation exercise so as to remain relevant in today’s environment.
“We are aware of the tight liquidity position in the market, the limited lines of credit, the inconsistent power supplies, among a plethora of challenges that have contributed to the retardation of industrial recovery and growth.”
The new extrusion line will produce PVC pipes of the diameters 75, 90, 110, 125, 140,160, 180, 200 and 250mm.
The new machinery is set to produce an average output of 250 tonnes of PVC and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) materials, which replaced three antiquated machines, which were producing a combined total of 100 tonnes per month.
As a result of the more than double production output, the new machinery will contribute at least 60% of the company’s total tonnage.
Proplastics board chairman, Greg Sebborn said the investment would enable them to adequately supply the market and reduce the reliance of imported materials.
“We will be competing with regional suppliers,” he said in a speech read on his behalf by the company’s board member, Hebert Mashanyare.
In November 2014, Proplastics invested in newer machinery and launched an HDPE plant from part of a $3 million investment.
Since 2009, Proplastics has invested $6 million into retooling their company.
Proplastics chief executive officer, Kuda Chigiya said the new investment means they can also bolster exports, which are 7% of the company’s total revenue.
“Some of the countries we are already exporting to are Zambia and Mozambique and we are now making good inroads into the Democratic Republic of Congo,” he said.
“Treasury has been helping us make foreign payments on time to some of our suppliers for raw materials.”
Chigiya said the company has a 60% to 65% market share, but wanted to grow it to 75% by the end of next year.