African Largest Glass Center Under Construction in Zimbabwe

The construction of a large-scale modern glass producing and processing center by Jingniu Group, one of the renowned Chinese glass producers, is in full swing in Kadoma, an industrial city in central Zimbabwe.

With a planned investment of 400 million U.S. dollars and occupying an area of 100 hectares, China Jingniu Glass Factory in Zimbabwe is expected to be completed in five years, according to Liu Jumin, Jingniu's chief representative in Zimbabwe.

Liu told Xinhua in an interview that the first phase of the project which started in July this year will be completed and put into production in May 2007. The first-phase project with an investment of 13 million dollars can produce 1.8 million weight cases of plate glass annually, while the second and third phases include three float glass production lines with a total output of 1,300 tons of quality float glass daily.

When completed, it will be the largest glass producing and processing center in the African continent, Liu said.

Meanwhile, a 100-hectare China Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone is also planned in the city near the glass factory, Liu revealed. The Chinese company will invest another 52 million U.S. dollars to build the zone and more Chinese private companies will be invited to set up their own businesses in the zone, he said.

P. F. Phiri, executive mayor of the Kadoma, said the Chinese company is the first foreign company in recent years that has come to invest in Kadoma since western countries began to impose illegal sanctions.

The Chinese came at a time when the foreign investment was scaled down and foreign shareholders were withdrawn. "We need the investment and we need the friendship," Phiri said during an inspection over the construction site of the glass factory last week.

According to Phiri, the city council has planned to build a new industrial park to attract more Chinese companies to invest in the city. He said he believes that the construction of the glass factory will help boost the local economy by creating more job opportunities and driving the development of businesses in other sectors.

Liu said the first phase project only need more than 1,000 local workers and they have decided to send some of local workers to China for a six-month training course.

Located in central Zimbabwe, Kadoma is one of the country's important industrial cities, rich in quality raw materials for glass production and boasting good infrastructure. It is also a hub in transport in southern Africa. It serves as a window for the Chinese companies to export their products to the southern African region and the continent, Liu said.

Jingniu is one of the new risers in China's private sector, and its quality glass products are sold in many countries around the world. In 2003, the company was registered as Jingniu Harare Investment (pvt) LTD in Zimbabwe with an investment of 5.53 million U.S. dollars. It has several sub-companies in the southern African countries.

600450 African Largest Glass Center Under Construction in Zimbabwe glassonweb.com

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