China-backed firm plans 600 MW Zimbabwe electricity plant

via China-backed firm plans 600 MW Zimbabwe electricity plant – Times LIVE

Chinese-backed China Africa Sunlight Energy said it will begin work early next year on a 600 MW coal-fired electricity plant in western Zimbabwe, part of $2 billion of energy projects in the power-starved southern African country.

The company, a 50-50 joint venture between China’s Shandong Taishan Sunlight and locally owned Old Stone Investments, has concluded coal exploration in Gwayi, near Zimbabwe’s second city of Bulawayo, and mining will start in November.

Charles Mugari, general manager of China Africa Sunlight Energy, told Reuters on Wednesday the company had discovered 4 billion tonnes of coal reserves after exploration and would mine at a rate of 2.5 million tonnes a year.

“Early next year we will start the construction of the 600 megawatt power station and hope that by mid-2015 the first plant of 300 megawatt will be running,” Mugari said, adding the final 300 MW plant would be commissioned at the end of 2015.

Zimbabwe has a peak electricity demand of 2 100 MW but is able to produce only 1 200 MW, with another 300 MW coming from imports, mainly from neighbouring Mozambique.

The country’s state power company ZESA warned consumers on Wednesday that electricity cuts would deepen as imports will fall to 50 MW from next week, when Mozambique’s Hydro Cahorra Bassa plant starts annual maintenance.

ZESA will also start maintenance of its local generating plants next week, worsening the electricity shortages.

China is speeding ahead with projects worth tens of billions of dollars to electrify Africa.

Mugari said his company was also exploring for methane gas in Gwayi, which it would use for domestic consumption and electricity generation.



  • comment-avatar

    Why not a 51-49% partnership? Could it be that the Chinese will not invest under those conditions? If not the Chinese then whom?

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      elliot moyo 11 years ago

      Why such a small power plant. They should make it a six-pack ie 6X300MW unit to make it a 1500MW station. That is my suggestion but ofcourse it depends on the money available. i which case they can make it a stage by stage development

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        Gunguvo 11 years ago

        Elliot wakaenda kuchikoro kupi uno tadza 3×600 = 1800. Anyway thus besides the point.
        We have had of so many investments in the power sector for many years, including upgrades in existing power plants. If all those plans translated into actions, Zim would be having more than 5Giga Watts of power plants. These are stories I dont read anymore, just like the new Disneyland planned for Victoria Falls. I urge people to stop dreaming.

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      Talisto 9 years ago

      49-51 policy is the ideal or theoretical to measure our thinking efficiency when a deal has been implemented .

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    Mjiba 11 years ago

    Guys I always tell you that these Chinese will only come to loot our resources thats all. Firstly what happened to Mr. Kasukuwere’s 51/49% indigenization policy and eventually 100%? Why are our policies selective, I am beginning think that some of these policies are targeted to certain individuals, even the 50/50 that is being talked about is a lie. Chinese will not attaché themselves to any deal which will not benefit 100% to them.
    Lets do some mathematics here:
    They have discovered 4billion tones of coal field in Gwayi;
    Production per annum: 2.5million tones.
    Therefore, time taken to do the mining = 4billion/2.5million = 1600years.
    Now tell me guys 1600years, how many generations are there? (its only 2000years after our Lord Jesus’ ascension). Well lets give them benefit of the doubt for the so called 50/50 deal, that means for the next 800years they will be shipping every granule (of coal) they will extract to China. What’s the value of that coal compared to $2billion?
    They will invest $2billion in energy generation in Zimbabwe (what a FDI), does the power station they are going to build last for at least 800years not talking of the 1600years they will be in Zimbabwe.
    Well, the eventually 900MW is going to boost our power supply but from the way I see it the Chinese know that we have power shortage in Zimbabwe so they want to build a power station that will supply electricity to “their” Gwayi mine 24/7 so that they will be able to meet their targets. Uku ndiko kuzorwa face powder kwatirikuitwa nevanhu ava.

    My question is did we failed to mine the coal on our own? where are the proceeds of our gold, platinum and diamond? Obert Mpofu is literally owning Matebeland region bit by bit very soon he shall claim it to be his sovereign state. If we want to be brutally true, he (Obert) has more than 25% share of the Gwayi project.

    This is day light looting by znpf.

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      My greatest worry with these newly found friends (Chinese) is that they do not care about the environment. They are masters of profiteering, if you go to their country, its permanent clouds of smoke and fumes everywhere. That is what is going to happen to Africa. they use the cheapest technologies ever and they know our governments are corrupt and with no monitoring mechanisms in place, they literally run the show to the detriment of the common people.

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    Tich, you have said it all, they destroy the environment and they loot to the point that our grandchildren will not find any of the non renewables. They even steal people’s dogs around the place they work in. These Chinese looters are worse than the British colonisers because they never plough back to the poor communities. If Zanu Pf is so intelligent and has people at heart why dont they take action? Its not about people, its about self interest. God save us from the greed and corruption of them all, yellow and black!

  • comment-avatar
    Changamire Leo 11 years ago

    Mjiba, thats great analysis. Wish we could be having more of people like you. Thanks for the article.