Prestige proposes 1 200MW thermal power plant

Picture taken from GlobalENCO Energy

A high-impact energy project — a  1 200-megawatt coal-fired plant under Prestige Massive (Private) Limited at River Ranch in Beitbridge is seeking a power generation licence to feed an energy-consuming chrome smelting plant in the district.

The development is expected to create employment in Matabeleland South Province, transform its economic activity and boost its gross domestic product contribution.

Prestige Massive (Private) Limited, set to construct, own, operate and maintain a 1 200MW coal-fired thermal power plant at River Ranch has lodged an application with Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) seeking an electricity generation licence.

THE Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera)

Once granted, and infrastructure set up, all power generated will be fed into the chrome smelting plant in the Special Economic Zone to house Xintai Resources.

In 2018, the Second Republic declared Beitbridge Town a special economic zone as the new dispensation upscaled efforts to attract more investment under the “Zimbabwe is open for business” agenda.

The Government adopted the SEZs drive as part of measures to boost foreign direct investment (FDI) and local business viability so as to increase employment creation in identified areas.

In a notice yesterday, Zesa said Prestige Massive (Private) Limited has made an application to generate power.

“Notice is hereby issued in terms of section 4 (3) of the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations, 2008 published in Statutory Instrument 103 of 2008 that the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has received an application from Prestige Massive (Private) Limited to construct, own, operate and maintain a 1,200MW coal-fired thermal power plant at River Ranch in Beitbridge, Matabeleland South Province,” reads part of the notice

All the electricity to be generated at the plant will be consumed by Xintai Resources which will be operating a chrome smelting plant in the Special Economic Zone.

The proposed thermal power plant will not be connected to the grid, Zera added.

Recently, Xintai Resources revealed its project intentions that have four key components including coal mining and washing at the existing Tuli Coal Mine, a coking plant and a ferrochrome smelting plant.

It has engaged Lutanda (Pvt) Ltd to carry out a mandatory environmental and social impact assessment.

In its second-quarter report, the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA) noted that it was processing Xintai Resources application for the designation of Power and Metallurgical Special Economic Zone in Beitbridge.

Zimbabwe Investment Development Authority (Zida)

ZIDA said Xintai proposes to construct a thermal power plant, coal washing plant, iron and steel plant and ferrochrome smelter adding that it was also in the process of gazetting a preliminary notice for the designation of the proposed SEZ.

Zimbabwe has vast unexploited coalfields in the Hwange and Binga areas along the fossil beds of the Zambezi River.

It also has huge unexploited coalfields in Chiredzi in the south-east Lowveld.

The Beitbridge coal mining project is another example of growing investor confidence in the country under the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa.

President Mnangagwa

In line with the US$12 billion milestone target by 2023, several new projects have seen a huge jump in mining output in the last four years, with corresponding export earnings and massive job creation impact along the value chain.

The mining sector is a key player in the country’s economy, contributing more than 60 percent of Zimbabwe’s export receipts and attracting more than 50 percent of foreign direct investment (FDI).

The sector also contributes about 13 percent to Gross Domestic Product, as well as generating significant downstream business and revenue injection to the fiscus through taxes.


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