By HELEN ZULU -
A NDOLA coal processing company plans to invest a further US$600,000 in expanding the production line for coke briquettes.
Coke briquettes are used in the copper smelting process and can be used in household and poultry farming for boilers and other heating purposes.
Ndola Coal Processing Industry Limited managing director Amrit Singh said the company would invest a further $600,000 for the new production line to increase its production capacity and meet the demand for the product.
In 2011, the company pumped in an initial investment of $1 million for the procurement of equipment for the coke briquetting plant.
Mr Singh said the project which started as a pilot in Zambia was now producing both industrial coke and domestic briquettes.
He said that a local bank had expressed interest in lending the company funds for the expansion programme.
Mr Singh was speaking in an interview in Lusaka yesterday.
“We are looking at investing an additional $600,000 for the new production line to meet the demand for the product.
“With additional investment, the factory will be able to produce up to 2,000 tonnes per month from the current 400 tonnes produced per month,” Mr Singh said.
He said the company’s production had been affected by power outages the country was experiencing.
Mr Singh said that the company had received overwhelming response from Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) with a standing order to supply the mines with 1,000 tonnes per month of industrial coke briquettes used in the copper smelting process.
Mr Singh said the domestic briquettes were made from recycled waste material making it affordable for use in households, poultry farming, boilers and other heating purposes.
He said this was a cheaper alternative to charcoal as one kilogramme of domestic briquettes would burn for as long as seven hours and did not produce any harmful gases.
The company currently employs 40 people with an additional 20 people to be employed after the expansion programme.