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China Sunlight Africa has entered an agreement with the Zimbabwean government to provide US$52mn towards the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam in Matabeleland, north of Zimbabwe
The dam will provide water to the 300MW power station that China Sunlight Africa plans to construct at the coal-mining Gwayi concession, stated officials from the company.
Charles Mugari, deputy general manager of China Africa Sunlight Energy confirmed that the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) awarded the company an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificate to construct a power station at Gwayi.
The construction of the power plant is expected to be completed by 2016, according to reports.
“We are looking at spending US$104mn towards building the power grid that will connect to the national grid, while the construction of the power plant will cost US$1bn,” said Mugari.
The country’s power output from traditional plants stands at 1,500MW against a daily demand of 2,000MW. Zimbabwe has a large number of thermal, hydro, solar and methane gas resources to produce power.
Dzikamai Mavhaire, minister for energy and power development in Zimbabwe, said the construction of the Gwayi power station was part of government’s efforts to curb power deficits in the country. He also said the government is planning a series of projects to harness power from various energy sources.
There are five hydro projects under way – Gaerezi, Ruti, Nyamhingura, Chipendeke and Pungwe, which are expected to be completed by 2015.
“By 2017, we must be able to have sufficient power to even export. Power is enshrined in the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation as one of the enablers of the economy and we cannot run industry, commerce and the entire economy without it,” added Mavhaire.