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Kabwe firm’s $55m project pays off

Metalco Industries Company Limited, a Kabwe-based firm, has injected a capital of about US$55 million to upscale its operations in the manufacturing sector over the past 18 years.

The company recycles scrap metal to manufacture copper cables, lead-acid batteries, aluminium sheets and various utensils.

Company chairman and managing director Hussein Safieddine said the firm has been growing gradually from just trading in non-ferrous scrap metal to manufacturing of finished products.

Mr. Safieddine said this in an interview on the sidelines of the signing ceremony of a US$20 million financial support from a partnership between International Finance Corporation (IFC), a financial arm of the World Bank Group and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) last week.

“We have invested around US$55 million in the last 18 years. We started very small dealing in various trading businesses to non-ferrous scrap metals not by design, but by default and exporting to South Africa.

“Our market is growing and we do sell our products locally and we would like to thank Government for putting up roads as this has actually opened up new markets that we could not access before. We are also exporting to neighbouring countries,” he said.

Mr. Safieddine is optimistic that despite the company facing some challenges in the last few years, it is poised for economic growth.

Commenting on the financial support from IFC and OFID, he is positive that the funding will enable the company create about 2,000 job from the current 500.

Mr Safieddine said the support will further help the company compete favourably with other manufactures of electrical cables both domestic and industrial, solar, automotive, aluminium kitchen and tubular batteries among others.

And OFID director general Suleiman Al-Herbish said Metalco is the largest employer in Kabwe and a key stakeholder in improving the living standards of the populace in the area.

“OFID is proud to be behind this project in partnership with IFC, bolstering the Zambian economy, local manufacturing and safeguarding employment levels and healthcare for the local population,” he said.

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