Ziscosteel is waiting for the proposed Chinese investor, Tian Li to show up and lead the revival of the former giant steelmaker, according to chief executive Alois Gowo.
Tian Li, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong listed R&F Properties which in August last year agreed to invest up to $2 billion in Ziscosteel, was this year named as the partner to revive the giant steelmaker.
The restart of the firm, once the biggest integrated steel manufacturer in Africa before its collapsed in 2008 is seen as a key investment in the revival of the economy.
Gowo told The Source after the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Mines and Energy toured the moribund plant last week, that progress has been delayed by the start of the Chinese new year, which was on February 16.
“We are hoping that very soon we will start seeing the investor on site but when exactly we do not know, but what we know is that some of them are now back in the country after their annual Chinese new year festivities in China,” said Gowo.
“I think that is when they will indicate to us and the ministry as well as the board of Ziscosteel their strategic plan ,when they will start and when they will complete as well as what will take place at Ziscosteel.”
Government gazetted the Zisco Debt Assumption bill last month, effectively taking over the steel giant’s debt.
Zisco’s debt stood at $494 million as at December 2016, with $211,9 million being external loans owed to KFW (Germany), Sinosure (CHINA) and Sumitumo (Japan) who are owed a total of $6 million.
Domestic loans amount to $56 million while domestic suppliers, utilities, and statutory obligations are at $219 million.
A meeting scheduled for last month to seek approval from its minority shareholders to allow Government to assume the debt and its takeover by Tian Li failed to takeoff. – Source