A US $3bn coal power plant is set to be constructed in Nothern Zimbabwe by Rio Energy Limited. The 2,800MW power plant will be constructed in four phases of about 700MW each. Rio Energy will partner with China Gezhouba Group Corp in funding and developing the power plant.
Power crisis in Zimbabwe
The project will go a long way in alleviating the power crisis in Zimbabwe. The country has been undergoing power issues since its main source of power Kariba dam was affected by the drought the country experienced last year.
Last May, Zimbabwe was forced to introduce 18-hour daily power cuts and struggled to import electricity from neighbouring countries to plug the shortfall. At the end of March this year, the flows on the Zambezi River recorded in Victoria Falls were 54% above the long-term average and way higher than last year’s flows during the same period. But even with more water, the Zambezi River Authority said it would limit Zimbabwe and Zambia’s electricity generating capacity to 275MW each for now in an effort to ensure build-up of the reservoir storage.
Zimbabwe has installed electricity generating capacity of 1,050MW in Kariba. Power cuts hit the country’s struggling economy hard as companies lost production time while others had to invest in alternative sources of fuel.