All that remains to be done is to finish installing the railroad tracks to transport the ore and coal, install the electrification and cooling system of the pig iron, so that the steel mill, located in Cuando Cubango province, can start operating, Reis said.
Cited by Jornal de Angola, Wilton Reis explained that the necessary equipment for the works are already in Cuchi municipality. However, the company is still waiting for Brazilian technicians to arrive soon to operate the machines.
"At this moment, the covid-19 pandemic, which is severely affecting Brazil, is what is preventing the coming to Angola of the Brazilian technicians who will ensure the operation of the Cuchi Steel Company", he informed.
The official also stated that 25 Angolans were going to be sent to Brazil for training. The measure aimed to reduce the number of expatriates in Angola, however, because of the pandemic it was not possible to achieve this goal.
Construction work on the project began in 2015 and since then the first blast furnace (three are planned), electromechanical infrastructure, storage silos, water reservoir, machine room and 25 of the 50 suites estimated to house the technicians have already been erected.
Of the 300 million dollars foreseen for the construction and acquisition of equipment, more than 60 million have already been invested, said the official.
The project's general manager revealed that when the steel mill starts operating, 3500 direct jobs should be generated. It is estimated that the project will produce 250 tons of pig iron and 7500 tons of iron per month.
He also made it known that this is the first foundry in the country to operate with a renewable energy source, in this case charcoal.