Zimbabwe has reportedly signed a $1 billion deal with a Chinese firm to build a 400 megawatts coal methane-fired power plant in Matabeleland North Province and setting up new ferrochrome smelters at Zimasco.
According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, the new development was likely set to create at least 25 000 jobs and would be implemented in phases.
The deal was signed by the southern African country’s Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando and the Chinese firm Sinosteel Corp president Andong Liu.
The signing of the deal was also witnessed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, said the report.
The Chinese firm agreed to build at least two ferrochrome smelters in Zvishavane and Kwekwe where it already operated the country’s largest ferrochrome plant.
Mnangagwa said that the deal “was testimony of his administration’s willingness to open up the economy to investment and re-engage the global community to do business with Zimbabwe”.
“We will continue to review our processes of facilitating investment inflows,” Mnangagwa was quoted as saying.
The first phase involved the drilling of two Coal Bed Methane (CBM) wells at the Shangani grants to fire a 12MW pilot power station, President Mnangagwa told reporters at a signing ceremony.
A NewsDay report quoted Mnangagwa as saying that said the CBM industry presented huge investment potential for the country for the production of electricity, liquefied petroleum gas fertilisers and chemicals.
“As a country, we are endowed with a number of minerals most of which are still to be exploited including CBM. The untapped sector present competitive investment opportunities,” said Mnangagwa.
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