New equipment to shore up Hwange production

Lucia Makamure


THE Hwange Colliery Company Ltd commissions its re-capitalisation programme today after acquiring new machinery.


The company, which has been operating below capacity due to foreig

n currency shortages, is set to improve its performance with the arrival of the new equipment.


The recently acquired Chinese equipment includes coal haulers, two excavators and a water bowser bought from North
China Industries Corporation (Norinco) at a cost of US$6,3 million.


Cliff Nkomo, spokesperson for Hwange Colliery Ltd, said the funds to buy the equipment were generated through export proceeds. However, the commissioning of equipment alone is no guarantee that optimum production levels will be achieved and maintained as the mine is heavily under-capitalised.


Some major challenges also faced by the company include working capital constraints, use of antiquated equipment, water logging of the mine and inadequate supply of spares.


These problems have resulted in the company’s bad performance as there is inadequate coal supply which is affecting tobacco farming, performance of the National Railway of Zimbabwe steam engines, the engineering and manufacturing sectors, electricity generation at ZPC which has resulted in incessant power outages, and underperfomance of Zisco.


“We aim to raise our production capacity from 180 000 tonnes in September 2006 to optimum capacity of 400 000 tonnes by December,” said Nkomo.

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