Harare - China’s Guangdong Bureau of Coal Geology plans to
invest $3.5bn to build a 1,200 megawatt thermal power plant in Zimbabwe, local
media reported on Tuesday.
The southern African country currently generates about 1,000
MW of electricity, half of its peak demand, and is battling frequent power cuts
which have affected industry and mines.
A delegation from the Chinese company is currently visiting
Zimbabwe to explore opportunities in the power sector, the state-controlled
Herald newspaper reported.
“We came here to observe and study the possibility of
building a thermal power plant,” Mu Yong, a director at the Chinese firm, was
quoted as saying. “Our proposed budget is about $3.5bn for a 120 million watts
In July, Energy Minister Elton Mangoma told parliament that
China Railway International, a subsidiary of China Railway Group and Zimbabwe’s state power utility ZESA were
planning to jointly run a coal mine that would supply a proposed 1,000 MW
thermal power station.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti has said Harare was negotiating
with Beijing for a $350m loan to expand its Kariba South power station to
provide an additional 300 MW of power to the current 750 MW, as Chinese
interest in Zimbabwe’s power sector grows.
China’s Sino Hydro is the sole bidder for the Kariba South
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