Government demands progress on $2 billion RioZim Sengwa project

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By Kwekwe Correspondent

GOVERNMENT is demanding progress on the $2 billion Rio Zim run Sengwa Coal project.

The diversified resources group RioZim, which has been actively pursuing the project since 2014, has been failing to secure financial muscle to help the mooted thermal project take off.

Speaking to journalists in Kwekwe recently, Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Larry Mavhima said development at the coal fields must start in earnest.

“Energy or power development comes in different forms. Here in the province we have Sengwa Coal project which is part of RioZim.

“We have heard they (RioZim) have found investors and money to develop it. We will be following up and understand what their plans are regarding to Sengwa. This is an asset which we cannot continue to lay idle,” he said.

It is understood that work at Sengwa is expected to commence early next year after RioZim and Power China International Group signed a framework agreement recently.

The deal it is reported will pave way for the construction of two 350 megawatts (MW) coal-fired power plants and 400k power line (400km) under the first phase.

When completed, the project is expected to generate 2400MW, which will be connected to the national grid.

Mavhima said government was prepared to engage the resource group in the event of challenges in securing an investor.

“If they don’t have a solid investor, we will find solid investors for them. We want to develop that asset. It’s a resource that belongs to the country. They own it but it’s a resource that belongs to the country. We don’t want to invoke use it or lose it. The government of Zimbabwe can do that if they have no intention of developing it and it’s speculative. If they don’t have plans at the moment this thing will never take off,” he said.