Zimbabwe Firm to Set Up Oxygen Plant

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A Zimbabwean firm is to set up an oxygen manufacturing plant, a development likely to save the country millions in foreign currency through a reduction in oxygen imports, the Financial Gazette can report.

Samson Venge, an engineering superintendent with Verify, said the company was now at an advanced stage of setting up the plant, which would be the first of its kind in the country.

Venge said they were working with engineers from India who would commission the plant at Feruka.

“We are installing an oxygen plant here (in Feruka). We have engineers from India helping us to commission the plant. This will be the first of its kind in Zimbabwe,” he said.

He said the country would save foreign currency by reducing oxygen imports from South Africa.

“The plant will help to supply industries, hospitals and mining companies with oxygen thereby reducing imports. This also means that we will be competing with companies such as BOC (Gases),” he said.

Venge refused to give the finer details of the project.

The Financial Gazette understands that the plant will encompass three 200mb tanks that trap oxygen from the open surface. They have an estimated capacity to produce over 16 tonnes of oxygen per day.
The project was initially mooted in 2006 with the installation phase commencing in 2010.

Unverified information gathered from sources privy to the project indicated that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the Air Force of Zimbabwe and Central Intelligence Organisation are involved in the project.

Verify is currently installing an accenting plant that would also be jointly used with the oxygen line to produce fuel from coal, which is the core purpose of the project.

“We are also trying to exploit fuel from coal. We mix the coal with oxygen and steam under high pressure. We then do final distillation to get the fuel,” Venge said.

Verify initially started operations in the hope of extracting fuel from Jatropha and were allocated space at Feruka.

When the project collapsed, Verify then decided to explore the extraction of fuel from coal, which will require oxygen and nitrogen during processing.

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