ZESA Washes Hands In US$1,5 Billion Steel Plant Bungling

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By Leopold Munhende

THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) says it is not directly involved in the processes to establish a 97km long high voltage powerline whose delay has hampered progress in the construction of a US$1 billion iron and steel plant in Mvuma.

This comes after exclusively reported Thursday that the construction of the plant was in danger because of Zesa’s delays in approving the deal.

In a statement Friday, Zesa distanced itself from the issue, saying it was only waiting for an update from the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (Zida) which is the responsible authority.

The iron and steel plant is being constructed by Chinese company, Dinson Iron and Steel Company (Dinson).

Zesa indicated that it was only a cooperating partner in the powerline deal and was already in the process of setting up modalities for provision of power to the ambitious plant.

“The construction of a power line is a public, private partnership through the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency and due processes of engagement in line with procurement procedures are being followed in accordance with the laws and protocols of the country,” Zesa general manager responsible for corporate communications George Manyaya said.

“ZIDA has since made an application to get the necessary approvals for the Public Private Partnership Agreement (PPP) to be in place prior to the commencement of the works and our parent Ministry of Energy and Power Development, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), ZESA Holdings, ZIDA and the Procurement Regulatory Authority (PRAZ) are constructively and cordially engaging on the matter to ensure the successful setting up of the Steel Plant in Chivhu in line with the laws and procedures of the country,” Manyaya said.

“Once all approvals are in place, ZESA Holdings, a cooperating partner, would ensure the setting up of the steel plant that would be socially and economically beneficial to the nation. The power utility is already making commendable progress in putting in place a roadmap for the provision of safe, adequate and reliable electricity and energy requirements of the steel plant,” he said.

A subsidiary of Chinese multinational Tsingshan Holdings, Dinson seeks to establish what will be Africa’s largest iron and steel producing firm.