Sino-Zim to sign $4bn power agreements

HARARE - FINANCE minister Patrick Chinamasa says two Chinese-funded power projects are going to reach financial closure in the first half of 2016, with each expected to contribute 600 Megawatts (MW) to the national grid.

Speaking at the Harare International Airport on the side-lines of President Xi Jinping’s arrival reception, Chinamasa said the two projects were going to be part of $4 billion agreements set to be signed during the Chinese president’s two-day state visit.

The Treasury chief also highlighted that the $4 billion agreements were expected to see 2 400 MW being added to the national power grid.

“So, as far as we are concerned as Zimbabwe, the visit is very significant, it is deepening, broadening our economic co-operation. We are going to be signing Hwange 7 and, which when undertaken will add 600MW into the national grid

“There are also three other power projects which are going to be funded by the Chinese and these are private sector-driven; they’re Makomo Resources, China Sunlight and Lusulu, each of them adding 600MW to the grid. In the first half of next year we should see two of these reach financial closure,” he said.

Chinamasa said the Chinese president’s visit was also going to see the finalisation of the “mega-deals” brokered with the Asian giant last year by President Robert Mugabe.

“The visit of President Xi is going to consolidate and cement some of the agreements and in fact undertaking also to further co-operate with respect to those agreements which are not yet mature for signing at this moment,” Chinamasa said.

This comes as Makomo Resources, Zimbabwe’s second largest coal miner, has highlighted it intends to build a 600 MW plant in Hwange as early as next year adding to the national power grid, financed by Chinese investors.

Early this year, Zimbabwe’s PER Lusulu Power signed an agreement with China State Construction Engineering Corp Ltd to build a coal power station in April next year, with a 600 MW plant expected to be the first phase of a 2 000 MW project.

In the Lusulu project, China State Construction Engineering Corp will design and construct the plant, as well as build power lines to transmit the electricity and expects to complete the project in 2019.

China Africa Sunlight Energy and a leading Chinese bank are also in talks over terms of a possible loan worth $1, 6 billion to fund the setup and construction of a coal mine and a power station in Gwayi.

Foreign investors, mainly from the Asian economic giant have lately been expressing interest in the country’s power sector and are looking at generating electricity from solar, coal and methane gas.

Two Chinese companies — China Jiangxi Corporation and ZTE Corporation — are among three companies that recently won tenders to build 100-megawatt solar plants in Gwanda at a cost of $184 million each.

China has become the largest foreign investor in Zimbabwe after the emerging Asian giant poured more than $200 million into the country in 2014.

 

Comments (1)

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Dhurun'aru - 3 December 2015

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