GOVERNMENT yesterday signed seven Memoranda of Understanding with a Chinese company to explore ways of co-operating in infrastructure development.
The MOUs were signed between China Fund International Consortium and the Ministries of Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development; Local Government, Rural and Urban Development; Mines and Mining Development; Energy and Power Development; and Water Resources Development and Management.
Speaking after the signing of the MOUs, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda commended CFIC for spearheading various economic activities in the country.
"This is a milestone, which is qualitative of building relations between CIFC and the Zimbabwe Government since their entrance into our economy in 2008," he said.
"Since they came into our economy, they have concretised a number of economic projects."
The Chinese company is a partner in Sino-Zim Holdings that is involved in agriculture and mining.
The company is involved in contract farming for cotton and is constructing spinning and ginning plants in Harare.
Dr Sibanda said if approved, the projects covered in the MoUs would be implemented under the Build Operate and Transfer scheme.
"Today we have all witnessed the signing of seven MoUs covering various developmental and infrastructure sectors in transport, communication, energy, water, tourism and a satellite city on a BOT," he said.
Dr Sibanda said negotiations for the modalities of implementing the agreements would be done within the next three months.
In an interview after the signing of the agreement permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development Mr Patson Mbiriri said they wanted to partner the Chinese in constructing a new thermal power station in Hwange.
"In terms of priorities, we are prioritising extension of Kariba South and Hwange Units 7 and 8, beyond that we need a new power plant.
"As you know the western area of Hwange has a lot of coal and the proposal is that we build a new plant in the Hwange western area," Mr Mbiriri said.
He said the envisaged power station would produce between 1 000 MW and 2 400 MW.
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Infrastructure Development Mr Munesu Munodawafa said they were looking at rehabilitating the railways and dualising roads that link Zimbabwe with its neighbours.
"We are looking at railways and roads, particularly dualisation of those roads linking Zimbabwe with other Sadc countries," he said.
Local Government, Rural and Urban Development permanent secretary Mr Killian Mpingo said the Chinese and Government were looking at developing a satellite town at the site where the new Parliament Building would be constructed in Mt Hampden.
He said they were also looking at construction of houses for civil servants and upgrading of infrastructure in Victoria Falls.
The Chinese company is also interested in rehabilitating water reticulation infrastructure, especially in Bulawayo, to improve supply to the country's second largest city.
A representative of CFIC commended relations between Zimbabwe and China and pledged to improve economic ties with the country.
"Today is a milestone event which will enter us into new paths of economic development and is yet another sign of South-South relations," the representative said.
He commended the excellent human resources base in Zimbabwe, saying this provided a platform for the country to achieve its development goals.