Bianca Mlilo, Business Reporter
THE 600 megawatt (MW) power plant project by Makomo Resources to complement the national power grid is still in the pipeline with notable progress in the construction of the plant expected in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Earlier reports indicated that the plant would be built at a cost of $1,5 billion and would be done over a period of three years, starting 2018.
Asian companies have shown interest in partnering the Hwange-based mining giant to build the power station.
Zimbabwe generates on average 1,200 MW of power daily against a demand of about 2,200 MW.
Makomo Resources company director Raymond Mutokonyi said they had the capacity to produce up to 350,000 tonnes of coal per month, although a slump in commodity prices means the coal will fetch less.
“We export coal mostly to Zambia, and a little to Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We’ve the capability to produce 350,000 per month but we’re producing less because of subdued demand and low international commodity prices,” said Mutokonyi.
“We’re also hoping to develop our 600MW power plant and we hope that by the fourth quarter a lot of ground would have been covered.”
He said the entire company was grateful to the government for creating an enabling environment for them to exploit one of the national resources in the country.
“In terms of volumes, we’re producing roughly the same amount as in the same period last year, although we expected to produce much higher volumes of our commodity,” Mutokonyi said.
Makomo Resources is Zimbabwe’s second largest coal mining company after Hwange Colliery.
It started operating in 2010 and is owned by Zimbabwean and South African investors, with the neighbouring country holding a 40 percent stake.
The company exhibited at this year’s edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair and recorded 287 visitors.
“We got four very promising deals at ZITF and these are foreign companies that expressed interest in doing business with us. Last year two foreign company deals came through and we’re doing business with them,” said Mutokonyi.