The Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Zisco), now renamed NewZim Steel after its acquisition by India’s Essar Group, is to be revamped with the construction of a new steel plant. The 500 000-tonne plant will be built over two years at a cost of US$650 million. Essar’s Africa director Firdhose Coovadia today said the company had decided to build a new plant instead of refurbishing the old one because new technology was needed to make steel production more competitive globally. He said Zimbabwe only needs 100 000 tonnes of steel so the company will export the bulk of its production. It plans to increase production to one million tonnes in the second phase. Essar acquired 54 percent of Zisco with the government retaining 36 percent and minority shareholders 10 percent but the revamping of the company was stalled because of disagreements over mining rights for iron. Coovadia said all the misunderstandings had now been ironed out with the government. The small town of Redcliff just outside Kwekwe was built around Zisco.