By Munyaradzi Musiiwa
The country’s sole producer of abrasives and refractories, Carridon Abrasives, has resumed operations after partnering local investors Cosfoam Projects who took over operations and assumed the company’s overlapping debt.
The Gweru-based firm got a $1,4 million capital injection that would go towards plant upgrading and refurbishment.
The executive chairman Mr Costain Mukanganiki said the company was in the process of reviving the equipment, plant upgrading and was ready to do a test run to see how efficient the equipment is.
“We do have long term and short-term plans. We have revived the company and at the moment we are doing a test run to see if we have fully revived the equipment to commence production. Our target is that by the end of this month we should be able to start producing.
We are also trying to comply with National Social Security Authority (NSSA) regulations to ensure that we do not endanger the lives of employees in case there is a malfunctioning of any equipment or machinery,” he said.
Mr Mukanganiki said they were using a local prototype at the company that would see a fully local-based model being implemented.
“We have designed a local prototype that would assist in not just reviving Carridon but can be borrowed by other local players. What we did was that the company was left in the custody of employees and we partnered them to revive the company,” he said.
Mr Mukanganiki said the revival of Carridon will go a long way in reducing the country’s import bill.
“All manufacturing industry require our products. Most grain millers also use our products. We are the only country in the region besides South Africa that manufactures abrasives. Most industries and mining companies have been importing these products and once we are up and running, we can reduce the import bill significantly. Our advantage is that we sell all our products in local currency.
This is because our raw materials are local. Also, our products are designed for the local market. This company was established as a sanction busting measure during colonialism and now, we can utilise it to revive our economy as well,” he said.
Mr Mukanganiki said the company, which produces abrasives and refractories, would also start producing calcium oxides, agriculture lime, soil doctor, soil sweet, limestone flower, limestone pest, limestone white and many other agricultural products.
He said it will also produce varnishes for furniture.
Carridon produces water paper, glass paper, garnet finishing, wide and narrow belts, emery tape, door paper, metal cloth, grinding stones, grinding discs, sharpening stones, carifax, cariset, fire clay, valve grinding paste, buffing soap and copper buffing compound. The Sunday News