Zimglass: furnace rebuild to meet World Cup demand

The Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe is prioritising the rebuilding of the G1 furnace at its Gweru-based subsidiary Zimglass in order to take advantage of opportunities created by the 20…

The Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe is prioritising the rebuilding of the G1 furnace at its Gweru-based subsidiary Zimglass in order to take advantage of opportunities created by the 2010 World Cup tournament, to be held in neighboring South Africa. Zimglass has already been chosen to supply containers for regional Coca-Cola bottlers. “The regional demand for the Zimglass group“s glass packaging is very high in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup games in South Africa. “As a result, in order to assure supply in 2010, consideration will be given to rebuild the G1 furnace at Zimglass Industries (Private) Limited during 2008”, said IDC“s general manager, Mike Ndudzo, in his report accompanying the company“s financial results. Mr Ndudzo added that the G2 furnace leased to Headend Enterprises (Private) Limited, which is currently in operation, would be due for a rebuild in the 1Q 2009. The G1 furnace has been idle since May 2004 owing to the non-availability of spare parts and foreign currency problems. At the time of closure the company required over USD 60,000 to import raw materials monthly to produce glass. The amount was later revised to USD 7 million and IDC has been trying to secure investors for the project. Before engaging an investor IDC has also undertaken a comprehensive market study in the region to assess the viability of the project since output from the furnace would be destined strictly for the export market. In the past, IDC had not fully pursued the resuscitation of the G1 furnace, which produces coloured glass, as the G2 furnace had the capacity to produce both clear and coloured glass as well as satisfy local and regional demand.