Tsingshan Limited, a Chinese steel giant, is set to give Zesa Holdings $60 million to build the Kwekwe to Mvuma electricity transmission line. This comes after the Chinese firm requested that Zesa upgrade portions of its infrastructure, but the electricity provider baulked.
Kwekwe to Mvuma Electricity Transmission Line and Sustainable Power
The steel company is building a US$3 billion stainless steel production factory in Zimbabwe’s Midlands area through its Selous-based ferrochrome smelting subsidiary Afrochine. Tsingshan has been looking at developing a sustainable power infrastructure as part of the early stages. The Kwekwe to Mvuma electricity transmission line has been a priority for the country.
A total of 1 000 megawatts (MW) would be required by the Chinese enterprise, out of 2 300MW requested by the Treasury. The high voltage electricity must next be transmitted from Sherwood in Kwekwe to Mvuma, which will necessitate building a powerline. Various talks are taking place with the Chinese business, offering a tariff reduction once the steel facility begins operations.
Tsingshan Limited is one of the world’s major stainless steel producers, with annual revenue of almost US$10 billion. In 2021, the government formed an inter-ministerial group to speed up the development of a multibillion-dollar carbon steel facility in Mvuma. A fluorite and limestone manufacturing factory will be built, and the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has been charged with designing a railway line to connect Mvuma and Manize, where the plant would be built on a 1,5-square-kilometer plot of land.
In June 2018, Afrochine inked a $1 billion deal to develop the facility, which would have a capacity of two million tonnes of steel per year. At the Selous smelter complex, Tsingshan manufactures ferrochrome through Afrochine. Since 2018, the China-Zimbabwe relationship has evolved into a comprehensive strategic and long-term cooperation partnership. China has undertaken several projects in Zimbabwe over the years, including the modernization of Robert Mugabe International Airport and the construction of a new parliament building, among other capital projects.