UK firm plans 600MW Zim thermal plant

HARARE - London-listed firm Sable Mining Africa Limited (Sable) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China-based construction and services provider Citic Group to develop a 600 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Zimbabwe.

Under the agreement, Sable and Citic Construction Company Limited — a subsidiary of Citic group — will explore the opportunities of using their respective expertise to work together to develop a commercial coal-fired power station at Lubu.

Sable Mining chief executive Andrew Groves said considering the energy and power dynamic in southern Africa, there was a major demand for a secure and reliable power supply, which will continue to grow unless new power sources are established.

“Our proposition is to develop a 600MW coal power station in conjunction with Citic and with the support of the Zimbabwean government.

“This will represent a significant step forward in solving the ongoing energy deficit which is currently presenting significant obstacles to development within southern Africa,” he said.

This comes as Zimbabwe is experiencing acute power shortages resulting in massive power cuts across the country.

Zimbabwe requires at least 2 200MW per day but the country is only producing around

1 000MW daily.

Groves noted that the combination of Sable’s quality coal together with Citic’s access to power plant infrastructure, financing and construction expertise has the potential to create a long-term power supply which, due to Lubu’s strategic location in north-west Zimbabwe, could supply both domestic and regional demand once connected to the established power grid.

“Our team now look forward to exploring the commercial potential of this memorandum of understanding further with the Citic team and moving forward with this project at speed,” he added.

It is the intention that coal mined at Lubu —

located in the Mid Karoo Zambezi coal basin in the established Hwange mining district of north-western Zimbabwe — will supply the power station.

The agreement between Sables and Citic is supported by the Energy ministry, which is the

administration in charge of power development, in line with its mandate to promote the development of energy and power generation in Zimbabwe.

Sable plans to develop its multi-staged portfolio of assets in west and southern Africa, focussing primarily on iron ore.

With the completion of a number of acquisitions over the past two years, the United Kingdom-based company has expanded its mineral footprint and acreage across the continent in line with its investment strategy.

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