NDOLA Lime Company (NLC), a company owned by ZCCM-IH, has lost US$100 million to an Italian company, Terruzzi, which went under immediately after receiving the money in 2014. Terruzzi went into liquidation before it built a kiln which has not been operational since then. The Parliamentary Committee on Parastatals quizzed NLC management how it paid out a whopping US$100 million to a company which built a non-functioning infrastructure. Terruzzi was contracted in 2014 to build a modern vertical kiln, hydrant plant and weighbridge in the recapitalisation process of the lime producing company.
But the major component, the kiln, has never operated. The committee, chaired by Msanzala Member of Parliament Peter Daka, questioned the competence of engineers who contracted the project. Mr Daka said the US$100 million has been lost by the State-owned company. NLC acting manager of engineering Sydney Matamwandi admitted that the kiln did not perform to the expected standard after it was built.
“We do not have evidence that the engineers who ordered for the machine were conversant,” Mr Matamwandi said. He said after the kiln was built, it was discovered it had some flaws and could not be commissioned.
A follow-up with the contractor revealed the company had been liquidated. Mr Matamwandi said the kiln can still be modified and start operating but requires undisclosed finances. ZCCM-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) acting chief executive officer Mabvuto Chipata said the audit revealed that the project is a “bitter pill to swallow”. “Lessons have been learnt on the oversight that should have been dealt with. We picked the problems after there was a consistent request for money and after an audit, the problems were raised.
“It is a hard pill to swallow but an audit trail is on the several flaws,” Mr Chipata said. NCL general manager Stephen Bwalya said the company was advised on Terruzzi’s liquidation status when they were ready to commission the kiln. The administrator general, Natasha Kalimukwa, said it is almost impossible to pursue Terruzzi because the company has b