THREE Chinese firms have partnered government for the construction of 1 200 megawatts (MW) thermal power station, a move that would ease the country’s power shortages.
Shanghai Electric, Shenergy Co. Ltd and Niang Jiang Group will team up with the ministry of Energy and Power Development to set up a power station in an investment worth $5 billion.
The investment includes power generation and coal mining.
Jonathan Kadzura, Niang Jiang Southern Africa chairman said on Monday the investment was meant to address the power deficit and also export in the region.
“In Zimbabwe we have an acute shortage of power. It does not end within Zimbabwean borders, but throughout Africa,” he said.
“The country is looking for people who assist with local investments.”
Kadzura said the venture would use the abundant coal resources to generate electricity which can be exported to other countries. He said it was more expensive to export the coal than electricity.
“By the time we build the project to 1 200MW plus at least
$5 billion would have been invested in coal mining and power generation,” he said.
Zheng Jianhua president Shanghai Electric said the parties want to operate a power station in Zimbabwe.
The three Chinese firms will mobilise financial resources to build the power station. The deal does not mean that the country would be borrowing to finance the project, principal project advisor Nyasha Makuvise said.
“We are not borrowing as a country, but making sure that people come in and invest,” he said.
He said the investments would usher in a number of exports initiatives.
Shanghai Electric is a multinational power generation and electrical equipment manufacturing company headquartered in Shanghai, China.
Shenergy Company Limited is engaged in the investment, construction, operation, and management of power, and oil and gas projects. It has 18 electric power projects in various power fields, such as thermal power, gas power, hydropower, and nuclear power.
Niang Jiang has mining and industrial operations in Zimbabwe.
The country is grappling a power crisis as output is far outstripped by demand.
The country generates an average of 1 200MW daily at a time when demand can peak to 2 200MW.
Expansions work at Kariba and Hwange power stations have commenced and would be completed in 42 months.
When completed, the expansions would result in 900MW being added onto the grid.