Sengwa power station/Gokwe North power station/RioZim Project in Zimbabwe

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Sengwa power station, which is also known as Gokwe North power station or the RioZim Project, is a proposed coal-fired power station near the Sengwa coal field in Gokwe North, Zimbabwe.

The project was first proposed in 1997 by the Zimbabwean government. It was later awarded by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) to RioZim. However, the implementation of the project is yet to begin owing to “economic conditions” and “lack of investment”.

Nevertheless, it has caught the eye of numerous institutions/companies including Indian state-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited and Shandong of China, Eskom of South Africa, and Nigeria’s Dangote Group.

RioZim has also appointed the State Nuclear Electric Power Planning Design and Research Institute located in Beijing to design the project generators and signed a US$1.126 billion engineering procurement and construction contract (EPC) with Power China for the construction of 700 MW Phase One of the Sengwa plant.

In April 2020, it was reported that RioZim would build the Sengwa power station with China Gezhouba Group Corp., a subsidiary of Power China in four phases of 700 MW each. In May of the same year, it was announced that Sinosure was on board the project to provide risk insurance. 

In September 2020, RioZim signed a framework agreement for Phase Two of the Sengwa plant project. Other than RioZims continued interest in implementing the project, there has not been any news on the Sengwa power station since. 

Reported earlier

Sep 2014

Zimbabwe to Get 1200MW Thermal Power Station

A 1200 MW thermal power station and a coal mine are set to be constructed in Western Zimbabwe after three firms from China came up with the proposal. These projects will help cut down on power shortages in a country where only 1100MW of power is being produced at the moment. This is just half of what consumers really need.

The three companies under the thermal power station deal are Shanghai Electric, Synergy Co Ltd, and Nan Jiang Group, whose partnership will lead to the formation of Southern Africa Shanghai Energizer Company (SASEC). SASEC would then mine coal in the country, and also construct a Power Plant in Zimbabwe’s Western coal mining belt.

According to the Chairman of the Southern Africa Unit of Nan Jiang Jonathan Kadzura, the thermal power station will be constructed in three stages and will have a production capacity of up to 1200 MW. They will also finance it independently.

Upon completion of the new thermal power station, SASAEC will be selling electricity to the state-owned power company in Zimbabwe, and also exporting to various regions. Earlier in the month, Chinese Power Firm Sino Hydro started work on the Kariba Hydro Power Plant to add 300MW.

The President of Shanghai Electric Zheng Jianhua noted that his firm is able to finance investments in power and build more power stations to cater to shortages experienced.

March 2019

Zimbabwe to construct 2000MW thermal power station

Zambia begins slim well drilling at Bweengwa River Geothermal Resource Area

Zimbabwe is set to construct a 2000MW thermal power station in Sengwa, Gokwe North in at a cost of US $2bn, following an agreement signed between RIOZIM and Power China for the development.

The exclusive agreement is among the independent projects licensed by Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA). According to the Chinese state-owned firm, the thermal project aims at cutting down the country’s import bill

Sengwa thermal project

Phase one of the Sengwa thermal project involves the construction of two 350MW of coal-fired power and a 400km power line. As of now, the contractor is on-site conducting initial evaluations which precede financial closure.

Power China, the sister company of Sinohydro, which is currently involved in the expansion project on Kariba South is currently preparing the bill of quantities for the pipeline and power lines.

The bill is a requirement by the financiers in order to know the cost of the water pipeline from Kariba to Sengwa and the cost of evacuation lines from Sengwa to Sherwood. The bank also needs to know the cost of building the town where workers at the power station will stay. The promised Special Economic Zone will cater to those who will buy the power in Forex.

Upon completion, Sengwa will be among Zimbabwe’s two biggest power plants after the 2400 MW Batoka project. The 2000MW of power expected to be produced will be fed from RioZim’s coal claims in the Senegwa Coal Deposit with proven ore reserves in excess of 525 million tonnes.

Jul 2019

Zimbabwe to commence construction of Sengwa thermal power station

Zimbabwe is set to commence construction of a 2 800MW thermal power station in Sengwa, Gokwe North at a cost of US $1.5bn, following RioZim, the project developers moving to the next phase of preliminary works, which entail, chiefly, signing a power purchase agreement.

The thermal power station project has been in the pipeline for some time since the early 1990s. RioZim signed framework and exclusivity agreements with Power China in November 2018, completed a full design and feasibility of the Power station, route and design of the water supply pipeline from the Zambezi River, design of 420kV power evacuation lines from Sengwa to Selous and coal mining plan and fuel coal delivery to station.