ZESA killing us: Chrome producers

Zim Alloys and other chrome producers have joined forces to engage Acting Vice President Joice Mujuru in a bid to compel ZESA to slash industry power tariffs. The stakeholders say the ferrochrome industry has been rendered unviable by the charges.

ZESA recently hiked tariffs from $0.06c to $0.099c per unit. Most of the ferrochrome plants have furnaces which require an average total of 108Megawatts per minute, resulting in monthly bills of millions of dollars.

Since then several have been disconnected or have stopped operating. These include Kwekwe- based Oliken, Mona Chrome of Chegutu, Maranatha Ferrochrome of Kadoma and several Chinese mines.

“There is no country in the world which can make profit in producing chrome when power costs 10 cents per unit China which is known for producing ferrochrome is succeeding because they charge around three cents,” said Jabulani Chirasha, Zim Alloys Production Manager.

In a letter dated January 12 the Confederation of Ferrochrome Industries of Zimbabwe wrote to the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company Managing Director Jullian Chinembiri asking on him to address the issue.

Fullard Gwasira, the ZESA spokesperson was unavailable for comment.

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