RioZim to add 1,400MW to Zimbabwe power output

Zimbabwe mining company, RioZim is planning to generate 1,400MW power by using coal resources from its concession in Sengwa, northern Zimbabwe. The company says it will require a $2.1bn investment to develop the coal to power plant. One of the key attractions for investors to such a project is likely the capacity of the proposed off-taker for the generated power.

The company has signed an MOU with the South African Power Pool with the aim of reaching an arrangement on a power purchase agreement. The company, which owns a minority interest in UK-based diamond miner Rio Tinto, holds an estimated 1.36 billion tons of coal deposit at its Sengwa concession in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe electricity production dropped to 801MW in May which represent only 37 percent of the nation’s peak demand after Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), shut down its $1.7bn Hwange coal-fired power plant due to technical faults. The power plant had a capacity of 920MW, however output was less than 50 percent of capacity due to old equipment. ZPC plans to build a new $5.0bn 3,500MW plant, but securing funding could constitute a major challenge.

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