16 January 2014, Harare – China-Africa Sunlight Energy will invest US$250 million towards the construction of a power generation plant in Gwayi, a company official confirmed yesterday. The company is a joint venture between Old Stone Investments Limited of Zimbabwe and Shandong Taishan Sunlight, a Chinese conglomerate.The power plant will initially have capacity to produce 300 megawatts and later raise to 600 megawatts.
In an interview, CASE general manager Retired Colonel Charles Mugari said they have earmarked such a huge amount of capital towards the plant with the idea of coming up with a structure that will match the capacity of their coal mine.
“We have projected all our projects to start in June this year and appropriate funding has already been mobilised.
“All power generating documents have already been compiled and the plant is going to be a state-of-the-art structure that will reduce all the environmental problems associated with thermal power generation,” he said.
Rtd Col Mugari said the company plans to invest as much as US$2,1 billion towards developing coal mines and constructing power generation plants to help ease electricity shortages in the country. He said the company’s main focus is on coal mining and thermal power generation. A total of US$20 million was spent on exploration which awarded them rights to look for coal and coal-bed methane in the area.
The Environmental Management Agency has given China-Africa Sunlight Energy the nod to carry out Environmental Impact Assessment for the setting up of the power generation plant.
The company is one of those granted licences by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority to set up power stations in the country. It secured a 2×200 megawatt power generation licence.
Rtd Col Mugari said the company was finalising national grid connection modalities with ZESA.
“We submitted a prospectus and I just got an approval from EMA to do a full EIA. With that out of the way, we are going to embark on another full EIA for power generation.
“The EIA will involve the power generation plant, the water pipeline from the dam to the concession and the power line that goes along the water pipeline and another one to the connection point between Hwange-Ensukamini line and our power plant,” Rtd Col Mugari said.
The company says it will contribute foreign direct investment inflow of up to US$2,1 billion in four years as well as create up to 4 500 new jobs.