A 600 MW coal-fired power plant will be constructed next year in Binga at a cost of $1,1 billion under the first phase of the Lusulu Power generation project.
BY VICTORIA MTOMBA
It will come on stream by 2019.
Speaking at the signing ceremony between Pan-African Energy, Lusulu Power and the China State Construction Engineering Corp (CSEC) last week Lusulu Power chairperson Stuart Perry said the signing was an culmination of work done over five years.
Perry said the plant would be constructed in four phases, the first of which will yield 600MW being expected to begin during the first quarter of next year.
“It’s a huge project for Zimbabwe and it’s a great honour to start the project today. We have been in discussions with China State Construction Engineering Corp for many months,” Perry said. “This has brought us to sign the contract today. We will start on site during the first quarter of next year and the first phase will be completed in 2019 and the next phases will follow,” Perry said.
CSEC general manager for Eastern and Southern Africa based in Mozambique Huang Changbiao, said the company was happy to be part of the economic blueprint, Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio Economic Transformation (Zim Asset).
“We believe that with the support from the Zimbabwe government and also the participation of CSEC and the great team, the Lusulu power project will be a success,” Changbiao said.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the presence of government was a demonstration that it supported infrastructure development in the country.
“In total 2 000 MW of power will be generated and the plant is going to use coal concessions found in that area, the Binga area. It is very important for the development of the area and tourism,” he said.
Chinamasa said funding had been secured but there were certain conditions that had to be met.
He said the undertaking of the project would go a long way in addressing power shortages in the short term and the tariffs would be affected in the long term.
The Lusulu plant is one of the licensed independent power producers (IPPs) in the country.
Last year, the energy regulator said 19 independent power producers were licenced and had a capacity to generate 5 322 megawatts and they were at various stages of development as the development required huge financial investments over a period ranging between 10 to 20 years.