ZESA Holdings has completed the designs for the power transmission system that will see a power line coming from Sherwood near Kwekwe to feed Tsingshan Holdings Group’s two sites constituting the billion-dollar steel project in Chirumhanzu, Zesa executive chairman Dr Sydney Gata has said.
Tsingshan signed an agreement with Zimbabwe in 2018 to build a 2 million tonnes per year steel plant and giant strides have been achieved since then.
Dinson Steel, a subsidiary of Tsingshan Holdings, is undertaking the US$1 billion game-changing project.
The project has two sites; one in Chirumhanzu in the Midlands Province, dealing with smelting of iron ore and another in Chikomba, Mashonaland East Province, responsible mainly for the mining and beneficiation.
And as the implementation of the project paces up, key stakeholders visited the project sites over the weekend to assess progress and check on any other issues that may require addressing.
Dr Gata said the steel plant was a strategic national project and Zesa was committed to ensuring that it succeeds.
“It will be the largest customer project and will require up to 500MW in the next two years, which is equivalent to almost a third of today’s consumption in the country,” he said.
“We need to plan and participate from the very beginning as we are the most important stakeholder. We have completed all the designs for the transmission system, for instance, the line that will come from Sherwood near Kwekwe to supply the two sites that constitute the project.
“This project will bring a lot of economic and social benefits in the country, there will be a township and we must supply electricity to the demands of the town and service the population.”
Dinson Steel spokesperson Mr Pardon Kufakunesu said they were happy with the Government’s level of commitment through Zesa and other stakeholders.
He said Zesa had been critical in giving the temporary requirements.
“This was a forest and we needed temporary power for construction which you see is what we have now,” said Mr Kufakunesu.
“What we await is the finalisation of the PPP (purchasing power parity) so that the works can commence.
“As you have seen we have started with the preparations for the residentials for locals and foreign engineers, and offices associated.”
Apart from steel project, Tsingshan has completed two high carbon ferrochrome furnaces in Selous, and the construction of a 150 000-tonne coke battery in Hwange.
Both projects were completed in April this year.
In May, the company commenced construction of an additional 150 000 tonne coke battery.
The steel project has huge economic multipliers on rail and road, logistics, power generation and transmission.
It has been proposed that Zimbabwe should consider assembling electric vehicles in Chivhu-Mvuma once the project takes shape.
Cabinet has since set up an inter-ministerial committee to coordinate the Tsingshan consolidated mining projects.
Ministries in the committee are; Mines and Mining Development whose permanent secretary will chair proceedings while others include Transport and Infrastructural Development, Energy and Power Development, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Local Government and Public Works, Finance and Economic Development as well as Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.
Tsingshan expects to be a net exporter of power by 2023 through contribution of coal mining, coke production and energy generation capital projects mainly situated in Hwange.