Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) says it will produce 270,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser for the 2013/2014 farming season and this will be the first time the fertiliser company will be producing such a high quantity.
NCZ general manager Muyapekwa Muyapekwa says the company is currently refurbishing its plant and that repairs will be concluded by the end of February.
Mr Muyapekwa said this in Kafue on Wednesday when Minister of Labour Fackson Shamenda paid a courtesy call on him.
“We need to repair the machinery and begin producing basal dressing early for the 2013/2014 farming season. We want to produce 270,000 metric tonnes, which is the current national demand. This will be the first time this will be done,” Mr Muyapekwa said.
Mr Muyapekwa said the refurbishment of the ammonium nitrate plant will enable the company produce explosive grade ammonium nitrate which will be sold to mining companies.
He said this will help the company to generate income from other sources, other than fertiliser.
Mr Muyapekwa said some companies have shown interest in buying the explosive ammonium nitrate from NCZ and that this will reduce the cost of doing business as they will not have to import the chemical.
He said the company will have to import ammonium because it cannot produce it at the moment.
He said NCZ is working on supplying its own ammonium and that this will only be achievable in the next three years.
Mr Muyapekwa said other than the explosive ammonium nitrate, the company will also produce ammonium nitrate fertiliser.
“We are refurbishing the ammonium nitrate plant. We are focused on meeting the national demand for these chemicals and fertilisers,” Mr Muyapekwa said.
And NCZ chief executive officer Zuze Banda said the company will employ about 148 people and that it needs to build capacity to help it achieve its dreams.
He said the employment will be done in phases and that about 52 jobs have since been advertised.
“We have had problems in the past as people would retire at the same time and we would be left with no manpower. But we are now going to employ in phases so that we can still have skilled manpower even when others retire.
And Minister of Labour Fackson Shamenda said the Patriotic Front government has prioritised the manufacturing sector in a bid to create employment.
Mr Shamenda said NCZ is a very important investment which was left to go to waste by the previous government.
He said it is important to revamp the company and bring it back to its former glory.