BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
MDC-T deputy president Thokozani Khupe has moved a motion for the operationalisation of the Lupane gas project.
Government accorded the exploration of Lupane gas a national project status in 2007.
Several deadlines for the exploitation have lapsed.
The Lupane-Lubimbi area is estimated to have more than 40 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas.
Debating the issue in Parliament last Wednesday, Khupe said: “Lupane district is one area which has one such mineral resource out of the 60 which remains untapped. It is a district which is surrounded by a sea of poverty while at the same time, it has got this lucrative mineral resource coal-bed methane gas, she said.
“This project has seen a lot of ribbon-cutting events to kick-start it.
“This mineral resource is worth billions of dollars and has a potential of generating thousands of jobs in line with National Development Strategy One which anticipates creating at least 760 000 formal jobs in five years.
“It is, therefore, of paramount importance that this project be kick-started so that we stop importing fertiliser and energy, spending billions of dollars,” she added.
“In view of this, I am, therefore, calling on government as a matter of urgency, to look for a big investor on a build operate and transfer agreement so that the investor deposits about US$10-15 billion to the country and be allowed to harvest the gas for about 20-25 years and then transfer to government.”
In January 2019, government announced that a South African mining company, Tumagole Consortium, had started commercial exploration of gas in the Lupane-Lubimbi area.
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