The Sunday News
Dumisani Nsingo recently in Hwange
ONE of the country’s biggest coal mining companies Makomo Resources has started carrying out feasibility studies on its proposed $1,5 billion 600 megawatt (MW) thermal power station site in Hwange. Chinese firm Sino Hydro which Makomo indicated wanted to build the power station is understood to be carrying out feasibility studies at the site of the proposed power station.
Makomo Resources general manager Mr Samson Mabvira confirmed that a technical team from Sino Hydro were at the company to prepare for the study.
“I can confirm that we have officials from Sino Hydro preparing for the construction of the power station and we are utilising some of their equipment for other purposes,” he said.
Sino Hydro was also contracted to build a power plant with the same capacity as the one proposed by Makomo at Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC)’s Hwange Power Station (HPS).
Hwange Power Station, the country’s largest coal-fired power plant, is currently using six units and the expansion would see the addition of two more units, with a combined generation capacity of 600 MW.
However, construction work at the power station was delayed after China Machinery and Engineering Company (CMEC), which had been awarded the tender failed to provide a funding plan to get the project off the ground, 14 months after winning the bid.
This forced the Government to re-award the tender to Sino Hydro Corporation (Sino Hydro) which in September last year started constructing two generation units at the Kariba hydro power station to add 300 MW.
“At the moment I am not in a position to confirm when construction will start because there are still some due-diligence and consultations going on with the financier.
“We are however, hoping that it will be during the third quarter of this year but the key element hinges on the financing aspect,” Mr Mabvira said.
Meanwhile, Mr Mabvira said the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority’s subsidiary ZPC was making significant headway in off-setting its debt.
Late last year, ZPC owed Makomo Resources over $12 million for coal deliveries at the HPS over the last four years.
HPS has been Makomo Resources’ biggest customer since the coal mining concern started operations in 2010.
“Their payment mode has improved as compared to last year and they have managed to offset substantial part of the debt,” Mr Mabvira said.