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Chinese firm eyes thermal power project

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CHINA Power Investment Corporation (CPIC) has expressed interest to undertake a $2,2 billion Sengwa power project in Gokwe North.

Business Reporter

The project, once completed, is expected to generate 1 200MW under phase 1. The Sengwa project is owned by RioZim and Rio Tinto and has 1,3 billion tonnes of coal reserves.
Yesterday, CPIC executives held an exploratory meeting with Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa in Harare.

Chinamasa said yesterday’s meeting was designed to lure the Chinese firm to invest in the power project.

“There was a presentation. They will go back to China and consider whether or not they want to invest in a thermal power station,” Chinamasa said.

“We are trying to interest them to invest (but) they have not decided yet. We are not the only destination for investment, so we have to be attractive than the other countries.”

CPIC president Lu Qizhou said the firm will carry research on the hydro-thermal power projects in the country.

“We would do more investigation on the power projects.We are willing to work with the Zimbabwean government,” he said.

Lu said the company was already operating in Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique.

In February this year, Rio Zim chief executive officer Ashton Ndlovu told NewsDay that it was engaging international investors, and in addition to the Chinese they were also engaging Indians for the Gokwe North Sengwa power project.

Ndlovu said the power project would generate 2 400MW. Sengwa power project is one of the main projects that were expected to ease power problems in the country.

The country generates an average of 1 200 MW against a winter peak demand of 2 200MW.

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