By Oliver Kazunga
Textile giant Merlin, which is under resuscitation, has secured a contract to dye 306 tonnes of yarn from a local company. The Bulawayo-based firm, which was placed under judicial management in 2012, is re-opening after one of its creditors availed $2.1 million working capital under a business rescue strategy.
The company’s judicial manager Mr Cecil Madondo told Business Chronicle that the yarn dyeing contract would see textile concern operating with three shifts of eight hours a day.
“Merlin has received an order to dye 306 tonnes of yarn for the client’s export market and based on our capacity, the assignment will take at least 18 months to complete running three shifts a day,” he said.
The company requires at least $30 million in the next five to 10 years to revamp the whole production process.
Said Madondo: “We are working on the samples sent by the client for testing before we start work. Yarn has already been delivered to the factory, which is a key raw material and we are anticipating more deliveries from our business partner.
“We have identified 10 main product lines that we intend to start with and samples of the products will be sent to the market to obtain orders”.When its re-opens, Merlin will not only be focusing on producing napkins but a range of high quality and high demand products such as diapers and women sanitary wear, face towels, morning gowns, bed sheets, baby carriers, bath mats, wrappers and kitchen towels.
Mr Madondo said about 100 people have been employed and as production increases, 400 jobs would be created under the short-term revival plan.
During its glory days, Merlin used to employ more than 1 000 workers.
A proposal has also been put forward that the company sets up its own ginning plant that will create a complete production cycle and additional 1 000 jobs across the value chain. The Chronicle