Turnall Holdings Ltd’s Bulawayo-based pipe plant has started delivering various sizes of pipes earmarked for water and sewer reticulation projects countrywide, a company official has said.
Technical Director Francis Chigwedere said thish the company had started delivering pipes worth more than US$2 million for various projects of national significance around the country after commencing production early this month.
He said the resumption of fibre-cement pipe production was a strong indication by the fibre-cement manufacturing concern that it is determined to maintain the plant running for the foreseeable future in order to create job opportunities.
He added that the Bulawayo plant when in full production requires a strong labour force of 200 people working three shifts over 24 hours.
Chigwedere said the company was currently supplying the Masvingo Trunk Sewer, Nkayi Rural District Council, Victoria Falls Pipeline and the Harare Water maintenance projects.
He said Turnall was committed to Bulawayo’s cause and sustenance of jobs with the continued production of the fibre-cement pipes ensuring employment opportunities for the people of Bulawayo and the surrounding areas and the country at large.
“Turnall normally utilises locally produced raw materials thus creating the much-needed employment opportunities in downstream industries as well as contributions to Government through taxes. At the moment the plant is producing fibre-cement pipes using fibre imported from Brazil and Russia and competing with alternative imported pipes, a situation that negates the empowerment of local businesses,” he said.
With adequate supplies of raw materials, Chigwedere said the pipe plant has the capacity to produce 18 000 tonnes of pipes annually.
“Pipes are produced by cold bonding through the application of compression on the successive layers of lamina around the appropriate mandrel until the required pipe thickness is achieved.
The whole production process is thus environmentally clean. This becomes even more pertinent as effects of dwindling electricity supplies are having a negative impact on global economies and Zimbabwe in particular,” he said.
In line with international quality standards certification, Chigwedere said the pipes were subjected to stringent factory quality tests with each pressure pipe being individually tested twice to the working pressure in the field giving them a lifetime of over 50 years.
“Turnall fibre-cement pipes have a number of advantages over alternative pipes which include, among others, reduced frictional losses and improved efficiencies, they now come with acrylic fibre for improved quality and strength, easy and cheap to store, not affected by ultra violet rays and tried, tested with performance beyond any expectation,” he said.