Harare, Zimbabwe --- ESI-AFRICA.COM --- 24 January 2012 - The French consortium which has been granted a licence by the Zimbabwean government to build a US$3 billion thermal power plant in the country is in the process of finalising preparations to commence construction.
Revealing this to New Ziana, energy and power development minister Elton Mangoma said that
when complete, the 2,000MW project which was being rolled out over the next four years was expected to alleviate the country's worsening power woes.
Currently, the country's sole power utility, Zesa Holdings, is producing about 1,400MW against a national demand of over 2,000MW per day, leaving a shortfall which has to be imported.
With the economy now recovering from a decade of contraction caused by sanctions by some Western countries, demand for power is rocketing.
The new power station will be situated in the Lusulu coal fields at Binga, in the Matabeleland North province of Zimbabwe. The coal fields have an estimated 1.2 billion tonnes of coal reserves.
Minister Mangoma went on to say that more firms were showing interest in investing in the country's power sector. “People are always making inquiries and it is a good thing for our country that we have people willing to invest in this sector. As Government we will always welcome new investment,” he added.
With Zimbabwe facing a critical shortage of power, the government is also pursuing the expansion of the existing power stations at Hwange and Kariba to boost supplies. The Batoka Gorge project is another one in the pipeline set to offset the country's power woes once implemented.