Pula Steel Plant will not collapse – BCL

BCL General Manager, Mahupela
BCL General Manager, Mahupela

SELEBI-PHIKWE: BCL mine Board Deputy Chairperson, Dorah Moremi has allayed fears that one of its key projects under the company’s Polaris 11 diversification strategy, Pula Steel Plant, could be on the verge of collapse.

Speaking during a dinner to celebrate 30 years of corporate partnership between BCL and Glencore International, an Anglo-Swiss multi national commodity trading and mining company based in Switzerland, Moremi announced that the steel manufacturing and casting plant, which is currently under construction, would be commissioned in the not so distant future. She was responding to recent reports that the multi million steel plant was facing a funds shortfall running into millions and is on the brink of collapse. 

“As BCL board of directors, we pledge our commitment and unwavering support to the execution of Polaris 11 to ensure continued existence of the town and the SPEDU region. There are no fears around the fulfillment of the project and it will be commissioned in the not so distant future,” she said.

Project officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the commissioning of Pula Steel is scheduled for September this year. Reports indicate the mine’s board of directors approved a P50 million extra funding to the project, which is sufficient to complete it at an estimated cost of P130 million by August this year. The increase in the original cost of the project is reportedly attributed to changes in power connections from P5 million to about P25 million for Phase 1 and about P50 million for Phase 2 of the project.

“This meant that the plant capacity and configuration had to be adjusted in line with increased costs of installing power. Phase two of the project will manufacture products to be sold in the local construction and steel market,” said one official who declined to the named.

The delay has also resulted in exchange losses as the local currency has lost ground against the dollar from P7.5 per dollar to about P10 per dollar.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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