PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has commissioned the construction of a US$600 million Urea fertiliser and Ammonia plant in Chilanga District.
Speaking when he commissioned the construction of the fertiliser plant in Chilanga on Thursday, President Hichilema assured United Capital Fertilizer of government’s support as they invest in the country.
ZANIS reports that the Head of State said Government is willing to support any company that invests in the country by buying services and goods from them.
President Hichilema explained that the purchasing of goods and services from companies that have locally invested will help to grow the country’s economy.
President Hichilema however implored United Capital Fertilizer to consider lowering the price of fertiliser as Government will be buying in large quantities from the company.
Mr. Hichilema stated that the affordable pricing of fertiliser will enable farmers to produce more food to feed the country and export beyond the country’s borders.
Meanwhile, President Hichilema asked United Capital Fertilizer to give priority to Zambians when employing people to work at the fertiliser plant.
Mr. Hichilema said employing locals is going to improve the living standards of the people in the area and those dependent on them.
He commended the company for supporting government’s vision of promoting industrialization.
And Minister of Agriculture Mtolo Phiri said the construction of the fertilizer plant will make Zambia self-sufficient in fertiliser production and food sufficiency.
Mr. Phiri added that the country will no longer be required to import the commodity once the company is fully operational.
He said the desire of the Ministry of Agriculture is to see to it that agriculture becomes an all year activity.
Speaking at the same event, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Du Xiaohui said China stands ready to work with Zambia.
Mr. Xiaohui noted that the project will strengthen the already existing economic cooperation between the two countries.
He said the fertiliser plant is going to contribute to boosting agriculture in Zambia.
Mr. Xiaohui observed that the cordial relations that the governments of China and Zambia enjoy is key in building a strong economic cooperation.
Speaking earlier, Lusaka Province Permanent Secretary Robert Kamalata disclosed that more than 2,500 jobs will be created during the construction stage of the plant with an additional 1,800 permanent jobs expected to be created once the fertiliser plant is fully operational.
Mr. Kamalata stressed that the project will greatly improve and impact the livelihoods of the local people in the area.
He indicated that the raw materials to be used in the manufacturing of Urea fertiliser will be sourced locally.
Mr. Kamalata said this will lead to reduced prices of fertilizer on the market.
And Vice President of Wuhan Engineering Company of China Zhang Jinyue revealed that the plant will have a capacity to produce 300,000 tons of Urea fertiliser per year.
Mr. Jinyue said the plant is the first of its kind in Zambia and in the region.
He pointed out that the construction of the plant will alleviate the shortage of fertiliser in the country.
Mr. Jinyue stated that the company will work to transfer technology to local Zambians.
He noted that his firm will adhere to the environmental laws of the country during and after the construction of the plant.