Wankie on road to recovery


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A loan of US$5.3 million from the Africa Export Import Bank helped resuscitate operations at Wankie Colliery boosting production from 30 percent to 75 percent by December.

According to the company’s result for the year ending December, total coal sales were down by 24 percent from 3.6 million tonnes to 2.8 million tonnes.

WCC coal sales dropped by 29 percent from 1.2 million tonnes to 854 605 tonnes.

This was largely due to the low production capacity caused by constant breakdowns of mining and handling equipment as well as the shortage of spares.

This situation was halted in September when the company obtained a loan of US$5.3 million from the Africa Export an Import Bank.

The turnaround was slowed down by the shortage of transport, which forced customers to resort to the more expensive road haulage resulting in 49 percent of the coal being moved by road compared to 21 percent the previous year.

Coal sales to the Hwange Power Station were down by 23 percent also because of low production capacity, but coke sales improved by 2 percent with the bulk of the coke being sold from Wankie itself.

Zisco only accounted for 5 percent of the coke sales, down from 11 percent the previous year.

Coke oven gas sales were down by 88 percent largely because the company was replacing the 4km long gas pipeline which had many leaks.

Total sales improved from $8.4 billion in 2002 to $54.3 billion last year.

Operating profit shot up from $33 million to $4.6 billion but net profit was down to $1.9 billion.

But this was a drastic improvement from the previous year when the company realised a profit of only $323.5 million, the bulk of which came from interest earned.

The company has promised to improve its fortunes this year on the back of its turnaround programme crafted by a new board appointed in June last year.

(40 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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