THE country’s huge energy crisis is set to ease following intervention by a Chinese company, China Industrial International Group Zimbabwe Private Limited-(CIIG), through manufacturing of coal powered stoves.
Dubbed Seeci stoves, they are meant purely for domestic purposes and the firm has already poured in US$7 million in the project.
In a tour of the Dzivarasekwa based plant last week, it was evident that production was on overdrive despite the incessant power cuts.
The managing director Nie Hiyang was optimistic that the products will complement government efforts to alleviate the power crisis.
“The coal stoves will hit the market this December and we are working flat out to [produce more units.
“The staff complement is made up of all Zimbabweans and we had to train them on how to manufacture the stoves,” said Hiyang.
The project has a projection of employing at least 200 locals in the first phase of the roll out.
The company has been an all -weather friend and made investments in other sectors including agriculture and construction.
They are behind the construction of Borrowdale Trauma Centre.
In 2016, they setup nine factories that produces materials for low cost houses, mostly made from steel structures.
In that project, the company invested over US$2,5 million in the construction of four factories in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.
The project manager Bishop Jeche said their latest product was for domestic use hence no worries of large emissions of coal smoke.
Dispelling misconceptions and perceptions of the product quality of Chinese goods, Jeche said his company is Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ)-compliant .
“We are out to prove a point that Chinese products are durable and we keep on introducing Chinese technology and everything is manufactured in Zimbabwe,the only raw material we import is that we cant source locally” he said.
Many foreign-owned companies have had reservations over indigenisation, with some closing shop disputing the subjects of property rights.
However, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has made it clear that ‘Zimbabwe Is Open for business’, as his administration is on an overdrive of engagement and re-engagement policy with friendly and previously hostile nations.