A CHINESE investor Sinoma Mpande Limestone Limited will spend US$500 million on constructing a cement production plant in Chongwe.
During a tour of the plant in the company of Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection Lloyd Kaziya recently, Lusaka Province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe said he was happy that about 1,000 jobs have been created so far.
Mr Mwakalombe reaffirmed Government’s commitment to creating employment for Zambians.
“First of all, I am very excited that Sinoma is investing such huge amounts of money in this plant. What is so exciting is that the management has taken care of issues of dust emission into our environment.
“I am pleased as provincial minister that issues of job creation for the local people have been prioritised by Sinoma. We want jobs for our people,” he said.
Mr Mwakalombe also asked the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection to work closely with his office so that issues of environmental protection can quickly be resolved by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency to enable the plant to operate at full capacity.
And Mr Kaziya said direct private sector investment is key to industrialisation, a development which President Lungu has prioritised.
“This is a project worth supporting, we need such industries in Zambia. This is what President Lungu is committed to achieving. The head of State wants more jobs to be created. We will do everything possible to support such investments,” Mr Kaziya said.
Sinoma Mpande Limestone Limited managing director Zhang Yuanci said about 85 percent of the works at the plant have been completed.
Mr Yuanci said the plant is expected to be commissioned in March next year, and that over 600 Zambians will be employed when it is fully operational.
“We plan to send Zambians for further training in China, after which they will be engaged to come and work at the plant. Most of our workers will be local people,” he said.
Mr Yuanci said about US$200 million has so far been invested in phase one of the construction of the cement production plant.