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Zim plans to export coal power to Eskom

May 04 2015 21:15
Chengetai Zvauya

Harare – RioZim, which mines gold, diamonds and coal in Zimbabwe, wants to work with state-owned power utilities in South Africa and Namibia to build a 1 400MW electricity plant near its Sengwa coal fields.

The R25.31bn thermal power plant would produce electricity for RioZim’s mines and sell the excess back to Eskom and NamPower, RioZim CEO Noah Matimba told lawmakers on Monday in Harare.

Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe all import electricity because they can’t meet domestic demand consistently. With Mozambique, they are all inter-connected through the regional Southern African Power Pool.

“The chances are that this project will be bankable with partnerships with Eskom and NamPower, utilities whose risk is acceptable to lenders,” Matimba said.

RioZim, which has already spent R241m on the project, is open to any partnerships that will see the power plant built, Matimba said.

Fuel for the facility will come from the company’s coalfields in Sengwa in northern Zimbabwe, while it will draw water from Lake Kariba, 85km to the north.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and president Jacob Zuma discussed the possible partnership last month, Matimba said.

RioZim holds a minority share in Rio Tinto’s Murowa diamond mine.

eskom  |  power industry
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