The Herald (Harare)

27 March 2014

Zimbabwe: Govt Courts Chinese Power Firm

ZIMBABWE is courting China Power Investment Corporation to invest in the $2,2 billion Sengwa Thermal Power Station in Gokwe, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa has said.

"We have held meetings with CPI who are in the power industry. We want to interest them to take up investment of Sengwa Thermal Power Station in Gokwe. This is an exploratory meeting with them.

"We made a presentation, which they will study and consider whether to invest in the thermal power station phase 1 which will produce 1 200MW," said minister Chinamasa.

The minister spoke after meeting officials from CPI who expressed willingness to invest in the thermal power station.

"We are willing to work together with the Government of Zimbabwe and the companies to make our contribution to the power development in this country. Zimbabwe and China are very friendly countries.

"Through efforts from both sides, we hope we can bring economic co-operation between the two countries going forward," said CPI president Mr Lu Qizhou.

CPI, which has power projects in Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique, is conducting investigations on the thermal project and other small hydro electricity projects.

"We are here to do some investigation in the power market in Zimbabwe. We are doing a research on a small hydro project in Zimbabwe.

"We will get some more information on the thermal power project," said Mr Lu.

Minister Chinamasa said it is important for the country to be attractive to investors in order to harness international capital.

The Sengwa Thermal Power Station is owned by RioZim and Rio Tinto PLC and minister Chinamasa said there will be "a lot of negotiations with the companies for a framework that makes this happen".

"The two companies are, however, in the loop, it's now just an issue of looking for resources to get it done," he said.

The country is producing 1300MW against daily peak demand of about 2200MW and the Government is making efforts to increase generation capacity.

CPI is one of the five top companies in China and a comprehensive energy group integrating industries of power, coal, aluminium, railway and port. It possesses assets in hydro-power, thermal power and new energies.

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