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Zambezi Gas shelves gas mining project

by Staff reporter
22 Nov 2021 at 05:54hrs | Views
ZAMBEZI Gas and Coal Mine says it has put on hold plans to establish a gas production project in Matabeleland North citing prohibitive costs associated with the venture.
The mine produces 150 000 tonnes of coal per month and is in good standing to produce thermal electricity. However, its initial goal was to extract gas.

In a recent interview during a visit to the mine site, operations director Engineer Menard Makota said while the first phase of the 750MW power station will be up within three years, gas mining has been shelved and will be resumed

later.
"Gas mining is very expensive. We are drilling as deep as 500 metres and also it requires a lot of technology, which currently is still starting in Zimbabwe," he said.

"So, us being an indigenous company we have shelved that a bit and we are going to do that in the later years."
Eng Makota did not state when the colliery plans to start mining gas. As for the power station, Eng Makota said the first 150MW should be on the grid in 2024.

The work has already started with the licence already acquired and the Environmental Impact Assessment now 99 percent complete.

"We are proceeding with construction of the 750MW power station but we have broken it into two phases.

"The first phase is a 150MW plant and we are currently sourcing the funds. We have had a drawback due to recent announcement by China that they are no longer funding thermal power stations, and so, we are trying to change that technology to first change the coal into gas then from there we do energy," said Eng Makota.

"We have already engaged the funder who is working on the modalities to start the 150MW then afterwards we are going to do the second 600MW to make it 750MW."

He said water for the power plant will be drawn from boreholes and Zambezi River. The mine is already constructing offices for the power generation project and a groundbreaking will be conducted soon.

Eng Makota said Zambezi Gas was coming in as a minor shareholder in the project with a sister company, Lafrica Resources, as the major shareholder in the power generation project.

Sitting on an 8, 624ha concession south-east of Hwange town, Zambezi Gas and Coal Mine recently acquired US$10,4 million worth of mining equipment, which include dump trucks, excavators, dozers, water trucks and graders that will increase production to about 300 000 tonnes per month and employment to over 800 from current 400.

Source - The Chronicle