ETG Parrogate Group (ETG) this week unveiled four major strategic investment projects in Zimbabwe in the fields of textiles, agriculture, agro-processing and healthcare.
Through its subsidiary, Agri Value Chain Zimbabwe (AVCZ), ETG Parrogate has started implementing the turnaround plan for David Whitehead Textile Limited (DWTL), to be funded to the tune of US$20 million.
The process, which involves the modernisation of the Chegutu and Kadoma factories of DWTL, has already started in earnest with a view to transforming the company into a world-class operation.
Over the past 20 years, ETG has invested over US$150 million in Zimbabwe.
DWTL, once Zimbabwe’s largest textile firm, has been largely idle for nearly two decades, which saw it subjected to three different processes of judicial management since 2005.
The revived textile factory will have capacity to produce 10 million metres of fabric per year.
AVCZ also commissioned an integrated oil seeds processing complex, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe. The multi-million dollar plant comprises a cotton ginning factory with an annual ginning capacity of 250 tonnes per day. The state-of-the-art oil extraction plant can crush cotton, soybean, sunflower, and canola oil seeds.
The modern refinery at the complex can process all types of edible oils, including crude palm.
The integrated complex also has a texturised vegetable protein plant to produce soya chunks.
To ensure enough feedstock for the oil extraction plant, AVCZ is embarking on a 100 000 hectare outgrower sunflower scheme where rural farmers will receive free inputs, making the scheme probably the largest intervention by a private investor.
As a way of giving back to the community, AVCZ, through funding from its shareholders is in the process of constructing a hospital for the community of Chegutu for US$1,5 million. The hospital will have 24-hour emergency services, casualty section, admission section with 40 beds, intensive care unit ward, pediatric, surgical and medical wards and is scheduled to be completed mid-next year.
President Mnangagwa, who was represented by Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza during the unveiling ceremonies in Chegutu on Wednesday, said the Government remained committed to create environment that would create opportunities for the private sector businesses “to expand and thrive.”
“It is pleasing to note that David Whitehead is now out of judicial management and all liabilities have been paid up,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Let me commend your genuine effort towards resuscitating David Whitehead Textiles and I am reliably informed that the company is implementing phase 1 of its resuscitation programme, wherein US$10 million has since been injected.
“I am also informed that the first batch of capital equipment is scheduled to arrive next month whilst phase 2 will commence in May next year, President Mnangagwa added.
He said the multi oil seed crushing plant was poised to significantly contribute to the inclusive and sustainable national development of Mashonaland West province.
On the sunflower outgrower scheme, the president said the project dovetails with the Government’s thrust on enhancing food and nutrition security. “In this regard, I challenge other players in the agro-processing sector to emulate your hard work in order for the country to attain self-sufficiency in the production of, not only edible oil seeds, but other grains such as maize and wheat,” President Mnangagwa said,
Commenting on the new investments, ETG Parrogat chief executive officer Birju Patel said: “We have been operating in the country for the past two decades and this has seen us establish greenfield cotton ginneries in Checheche and Glendale while we have also taken over defunct cotton ginneries in Sanyati, Chegutu and Rushinga.
“These ginneries had all stopped operating and our investment and intervention have seen them come back to life and are now fully functional.
“Further, our investment in David Whitehead Textile will see the company becoming an integrated cotton value chain corporate in line with the Zimbabwe Government vision of value addition and job creation, with presence across all the facets of the value chain right from farming to the ultimate value addition. It is important to highlight that all these investments, including the integrated oil extraction plant in Chegutu, have created over 3 000 direct jobs in the country.” – Business Weekly