Is investing US$1.5bn for the construction of a 2,800MW thermal plant in Sengwa, Zimbabwe worth it?

Rio Zim, a mining company in Zimbabwe; has achieved another milestone by signing a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Power China to construct the Sengwa thermal plant. Power China in November 2018 signed a framework and exclusivity agreement with Rio Zim. The PPA is an essential part of this type of project as it guarantees investors of future benefits.

Design, feasibility, route as well as water supply for a 420 kv power supply line have been concluded. The supply lines will go to Selous while the water supply will be coming fro Zambezi river.

Will Zimbabwe National Water Authorities (ZINWA) approve of the use of water from Zambezi river after thorough assessment?.  Considering the amount of water that will be needed and used by a thermal station.   

The first phase of the project is construction of two(2) 350MW coal-fired power station and 400km power supply line. Presently, evaluation for the bill of the number of pipelines and power lines is ongoing to close the financial aspect of this phase.

Therefore, the bill will give an estimate for the cost of supplying water from Kariba to the plant as well as evacuating power to Selous.

In conclusion, Sengwa thermal plant will be one of the biggest power plant in Zimbabwe, but there are worries of it’s effects to the environment (soil, air, water) not withstanding the high quantity of fly ash and mercury that will be excreted from it.

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