President to tour Hwange projects
President Mnangagwa is expected to embark on a two-day visit to Hwange starting tomorrow, where he is set to tour a number of projects.
The coal sector, which was previously dominated by Hwange Colliery Company Limited, has been on the rise in recent years following the coming in of new players such as Makomo Resources, Zambezi Gas, South Mining and Liberation Mining.
President Mnangagwa is expected to officially open South Mining New Coking Project.
He will also tour other coal mining companies and assess power generation projects.
Coal Producers Association chairperson, Mr Raymond Mutokonyi said: “This is a historic moment to have the President visit us for two days. We are excited by this as it shows the importance of the sector and leadership will understand our operations better.
“Coal is critical in the energy generation side of the economy. We are a serious enabler to the industry and it is exciting that we have seen a number of players coming on board in the last few years and they are established now.
“We are focusing on value addition now through coke production, which we export and expect to get more forex for the economy.”
Businessman and economic analyst, Mr Morris Mpala, said revitalising the coal and energy value chain was strategic for the entire economy.
Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs Minister Richard Moyo said the President’s will activate the province to do more in terms of speeding up the implementation of developmental projects and spur economic growth.
According to the Chamber of Mines Zimbabwe, coal output increased from 2,9 million tonnes in 2017, to 3,1 tonnes in 2018.
The positive trajectory continued in 2019 at a projected four million tonnes.
The Chamber has noted that a number of coal projects are expected to come on stream in the outlook, with new investors such as Sunlight Energy, RioZim, among others, expressing interest.
The industry is being weighed down by low coal prices offered by the biggest sole consumer, the Zimbabwe Power Company, inadequate foreign exchange allocations and capital challenges.
President Mnangagwa and his delegation will have a hectic schedule, which will see him get a briefing on the coal and hydrocarbons sector overview at Western Areas before the tour and ground-breaking ceremony.
After the tour, President Mnangagwa will officially launch the South Mining New Coking Project, after which he will visit JinAn/Tutu Coking Coal Project and Hwange Colliery Company’s Chaba Mine.
On Friday, the President will tour Dinson Colliery, ZZCC Coke Plant, Zambezi Coal and Gas Mine and Makomo Resources.
He will wrap up his visit by touring the US$10 million 300MW Zimbabwe ZhongXin Electric Energy (ZZEE) power plant where a signing ceremony will be conducted.
Once complete, the ZZCC coal-driven power station on the outskirts of Hwange, will contribute 300MW into the national grid.