600MW Gwayi power project takes off


CHINA Africa Sunlight Energy (Pvt) Ltd (Caseco) is finalising the $1,3 billion loan coming from Export-Import Bank of China that will see the mining company commencing integrated coal mining and electricity generation.

Business Reporter

Addressing delegates at the energy symposium on Monday, Caseco company secretary Isaac Chihuri said the total investment cost for the project is $2,1 billion. Caseco is a joint venture between Chinese Shandong Taishan Sunlight Investment Company and Zimbabwe’s Oldstone Investments.

Of that amount, $1,3 billion will be for integrated coal mining and electricity generation. The remainder would be invested over the next five years.

Chihuri said the remainder of the money would be used to include the setting up of the cement and coking plant.

“The Export-Import Bank of China has done due diligence and what is left is to agree on the modalities.

“The funding is coming in as project financing buyer project meaning it will remain the same even if a new government comes in place,” he said.

“We are finalising on the interest and what the government requires because the government has a say on any amount above $1 million.

“We are finalising with the Ministry of Finance.”

The project is expected to generate 600 megawatts (MW).

“We hope to connect onto the national grid by end 2016 for the first 300MW generator unit,” he said.

Chihuri said the coal bed methane gas exploration will begin by February 2014 and hopes to produce three million tonnes of thermal coal by mid 2015.

The project is expected to take up to three years after civil works begin in June 2014.

Caseco sub-business units are into coal mining, power generation and methane gas extraction and will help several up-stream and down-stream industries.

Chihuri said the project would be expected to create 4 500 jobs upon full implementation.

The project is one of the mega power generation activities to be rolled out in 2016 that include Sengwa, Shangano, Lusulu, Essar Power Plant and Batoka.

Sengwa would be the major project that will produce 2 000MW of power.