China’s unlisted Tsingshan Holding Group on Monday signed a $1 billion outline agreement with Zimbabwe to build a steelmaking plant there after completing a feasibility study.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is trying to woo foreign investors, especially in mining, as part of efforts to revive an economy that suffered in the later years of Robert Mugabe’s rule.
Mines Minister Winston Chitando, who signed the agreement with a Tsingshan official, said the plant would produce 2 million tonnes of steel a year for 25 years.
Tsingshan will carry out the project through its local subsidiary Afrochime, which produces chrome ore.
A flurry of foreign investors have sought opportunities since Mugabe’s downfall in November, but many appear to be avoiding committing funds until after elections next month.
Zimbabwe’s only integrated steel plant, ZISCO, shut down in 2008 at the height of an economic crisis and China’s R&F has said it plans to invest up to $2 billion to revive the operation.