Is Russian billionaire seeking to invest in Zimbabwe or just to export his fertiliser?


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When Russian billionaire Dmitry Mazepin arrived in Zimbabwe on Tuesday news was that he might be interested in buying Zimbabwe’s main fertiliser company, Chemplex Corporation, as it is already on the market.

But, according to the Mining Journal, Mazepin is actually interested in expanding his market and is considering taking over the internal distribution of fertilizer in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Mazepin’s company, Uralchem, is the world’s second-largest manufacturer of ammonium nitrate

The report said Uralchem would like to push imports to the region from 100 000 tonnes per annum to 500 000-600 000 tonnes per annum.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu is reported to have said that his government wants to "commence our cooperation as soon as possible".

The Journal says Mnangagwa and Mazepin discussed the supply of fertilizer and mining projects.

"At our meeting with the president of Zimbabwe, we were invited to participate in the fertiliser supply as well as in the mining projects in the country,” Mazepin said.

"Certainly, we are interested … when we get guarantees of stable business development at such high level, it is very important to us."

Uralchem says if it sells the fertiliser directly to end-users, the price will be reduced from about $500 a tonne to about $300 a tonne.

The deal will, however, kill the fertiliser manufacturing industry in the country.

There are four fertiliser producers in Zimbabwe.

 

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The Insider

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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