25 September 2012 – The Herald of Zimbabwe reports that the country’s government expects temporary generation at the Lupane gas project to start in 2013. Energy and power development minister Elton Mangoma says, “Tenders have already gone out for quantification of gas in Lupane for the gas project and preliminary indications show that the project can be a success.”
The government expects the quantification process to be completed by January 2013, paving the way for developments in respect of full implementation. The project, granted National Project Status by government in 2007, has the potential to ease Zimbabwe’s power woes.
The country is facing electricity shortages, as it generates about 1,200 MW against a peak period national demand of about 2,200MW.In a bid to boost Zimbabwe’s power output, Mangoma says the state would soon be setting up a 100MW solar plant in Gwanda, and has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese for the development of a 1,000MW coal fired plant.
“We are currently looking for an investor in the solar project and to the extent that negotiations are completed soon, the project should be completed by July 2013.”The minister says these infrastructure initiatives are part of the government’s commitment to meet energy requirements able to sustain a US$100 billion economy.
Funding of these projects will receive further impetus as the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) has said it would soon launch a bond issue to raise US$30 million for energy projects, according to its acting director, Alex Machimbirike.