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  Home > Sino-African Relations > Economic and Trade Cooperation
China-Africa Sunlight coal exploration project launched in Zimbabwe
2012/12/24

English.news.cn  2012-12-20

Zimbabwe's Minister of Defense Emmerson Mnangagwa presses the button to start drilling equipments during the ground-breaking ceremony of China-Africa Sunlight Exploration in Lupane, Zimbabwe, Dec. 19, 2012. The large-scale Sino-Zimbabwean joint coal exploration project broke the ground in Zimbabwe's western province of Matabeleland North on Wednesday. The project, with an investment of up to 2 billion U.S. dollars, was a joint venture between Zimbabwe's Oldstone Investments (pvt) Ltd and Chinese state-owned company Shandong Taishan Sunlight Group Co. Ltd. (Xinhua/Li Ping)

HARARE, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- A large-scale Sino-Zimbabwe joint coal exploration project, dubbed China-Africa Sunlight Exploration, broke the ground in Zimbabwe's western province of Matabeleland North on Wednesday.

The project, with an investment of up to 2 billion U.S. dollars, was a joint venture between Zimbabwe's Oldstone Investments (pvt) Ltd and a Chinese state-owned company Shandong Taishan Sunlight Group Co. Ltd.

According to the agreement signed between the two companies, Oldstone is to secure a coal concession of 100,000 hectares with a reserve of about over 2 billion tonnes of coal while Taishan will inject in up to 2 billion U.S. dollars to develop coal mines, coal bed methane extraction and power projects.

Exploration drilling for both gas and coal kicked start on Dec. 19, 2012. In July next year, a small open cast mine is expected to be open with a capacity of 3 million tonnes of coal per year, and at the same time the construction of a 600MW/h coal-fired thermal power plant will begin and is scheduled for commissioning in 2015.

The project is also expected to have a coking coal plant with oven production of 300,000 tonnes of coke annually.

The project will create about 4,000 jobs for local people through the expansion of upstream and down-stream industry activities.

In his speech read by the defense minister E.D. Mnangagwa at the ground-breaking ceremony, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe extended his appreciation to the country's all-weather friend, the People's Republic of China, for standing with Zimbabwe through thick and thin.

"This project cements our friendship and paves way for more beneficial economic cooperation between our two countries," Mugabe said.

He said he considered the project as beneficial to the Matabeleland North province and the nation as a whole and well- timed one, for the country has been in short supply of energy since 2007.

"Until this project, the country never has a serious project to mitigate the power shortages over the period. The success of this project will no doubt provide the necessary impetus for the development of our economy, which has been crippled by power deficit and illegal sanctions," the president said.

The Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Lin Lin said that along with the year of 2012 coming to the end, this ground-breaking ceremony marks a successfully conclusion of the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Zimbabwe.

A Chinese worker starts drilling equipments during the ground-breaking ceremony of China-Africa Sunlight Exploration in Lupane, Zimbabwe, Dec. 19, 2012. The large-scale Sino-Zimbabwean joint coal exploration project broke the ground in Zimbabwe's western province of Matabeleland North on Wednesday. The project, with an investment of up to 2 billion U.S. dollars, was a joint venture between Zimbabwe's Oldstone Investments (pvt) Ltd and Chinese state-owned company Shandong Taishan Sunlight Group Co. Ltd. (Xinhua/Li Ping)

 

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