Makomo Resources to build a 600MW plant

Makomo Resources to build a 600MW plant
Published: 30 June 2014
MAKOMO Resources, Zimbabwe's second largest coal miner, intends to build a 600 megawatt plant in Hwange as early as next year, adding to the national power grid while work on the Kariba South Power Station is expected to start next month.

Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister Engineer Munacho Mutezo said Makomo Resources had already been given the licence to operate as an Independent Power Producer (IPP).

"They are quite serious about the project and their plan is to start working on it next year," Eng Mutezo said on the sideline of the Zimbabwe Chamber of Commerce annual congress on Wednesday.

"They have obtained a licence to operate as an independent power producer. I would say it is an exciting project."

The deputy minister did not disclose how much Makomo would spend on the project but Sino Hydro, a Chinese company which was contracted to build a power plant with the same capacity in Hwange, will spend $1,2 billion.

Zesa Holdings chief executive Josh Chifamba said the expansion of the Kariba Power Station would start next month.

"We are hoping to complete the condition precedent which will allow us to start draw downs and this should happen by end of July.

"That will signify the official beginning of the project."

On the solar projects, Chifamba said Zesa was discussing with companies that won tenders on implementing the projects.

New Zesa Holdings chairman Dr Herbert Murerwa said the vision of the new board was to ensure brown field and green field projects being pursued by Zesa were implemented.

He said this during a familiarisation tour at the Hwange Power Station last week. The board also held its inaugural meeting at the plant.

"We have come here to understand the challenges that Zesa is facing and our major priority as a board is to ensure all projects in the pipeline materialise," said Dr Murerwa. We will also work on improving investments in new projects.

Zimbabwe is currently generating about 1,200 megawatts against a peak demand of 2,200MW.

This has resulted in frequent power cuts, negatively affecting operations of mines and industries.

Foreign investors, mainly from Asia, are expressing interest in the country's power sector and are looking at generating electricity from solar, coal and methane gas.

Two Chinese companies - China Jiangxi Corporation and ZTE Corporation - are among three companies that recently won tenders to build 100-megawatt solar plants in Gwanda at a cost of $184 million each.

Indian state-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited and Shandong of China are among companies that have also expressed interest in partnering RioZim Limited in setting up 250 megawatt plants at its vast coal fields in Gokwe.

The short-term strategy envisages the construction of a number of smaller power plants over the next 10 years, RioZim said.

Its energy unit Rio Energy is in the process of bringing in technical and financial partners.

China Africa Sunlight Energy and a leading Chinese bank are discussing terms of a possible loan worth $1,6 billion to fund the setup and construction of a coal mine and a power station in Gwayi.
- chronicle
Tags: Makomo,


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