Mining concern RioZim Limited risks losing its independent power producer's licence and the Sengwa coal concessions if it fails to make progress on its Gokwe North power project in the next six months. Addressing Members of Parliament during a motion to debate the Finance Bill, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the investor has been sitting on the power producer's licence for 12 years. RioZim is trying to develop a US$4 billion thermal station in Sengwa, which would produce up to 2 000 megawatts, but the project has remained in limbo for a long time due shortage of funding. Minister Chinamasa said this comes against a background where the country is facing crippling power shortages, which if not addressed, would retard meaningful economic growth. The minister said that the country's main economic pillars -- agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and mining -- are buckling under crippling power deficits, unless the issue is fully addressed. He said while efforts were underway to develop additional power generating capacity to close the country's electricity energy deficit, those sitting on undeveloped assets risk losing them. " The Batoka Gorge (hydro power project on Zambezi River ) has also got support and financing but that is jointly managed between us and Zambia . The financing should be easy to find for Batoka. "We are also saying for Sengwa, which is in Gokwe, there is an investor who has been sitting on the licence for the past 12 years. We are putting that into issue. If the investor cannot deliver within the next six months, we will withdraw it if it is not already withdrawn," he said. Minister Chinamasa said he was already in discussion with the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Walter Chidhakwa and those that have not delivered on promises are being put on notice. "We are putting on notice all those who are sitting on assets on promises that they will deliver. They must deliver or else we take back what is ours." Zimbabwe is facing serious power shortages that have resulted in rolling power cuts in a development that is inconveniencing power consumers and affecting progress on economic recovery. However, Government is making concerted effort to scale up output to close the deficit with the country only able to generate about 1 200 megawatts against demand at peak periods of 2 200MW. "We have already taken steps to mobilise resources so that we can commence construction of power plants. Already, Kariba South is on the table and I know two or three which will soon come on stream and will add another 1 200 megawatts," Minister Chinamasa told Parliament. He said negotiations are ongoing on other projects and expressed hope that the discussions would be concluded soon while investors were also being sought for hydro and solar power projects. "In the short-term, we are inviting any investor who wants to construct solar plants. I know a lot of these investors query our tariffs but we will negotiate and let them proffer the tariffs they think will make their projects viable and we can discuss," Minister Chinamasa said.
Most Popular Stories
- Obama Administration Releases Proposal to Regulate For-Profit Colleges
- U.S. Consumer Sentiment Falls in Early March
- Vybz Kartel Convicted of Murder
- Elizabeth Vargas' Husband Marc Cohn Addresses Rumors
- Keurig Adds Peet's coffee, Alters Starbucks deal
- Quiznos Files for Chapter 11
- SoCalGas Reaches Record Spend on Diversity Suppliers
- Koch Brothers Step up Anti-Obamacare Campaign
- U.S. to Relinquish Gov't Control Over Internet
- Is Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 in Andaman Sea?