Zimbabwe, SA to join forces on new power station

Zimbabwe and South Africa are set to collaborate in a major transfrontier energy project. A new unique coal power station, expected to produce between 1 000 to 2 000MW, would support the development of the new Musina Special Economic Zone for the Limpopo Eco-Industrial Park (LEIP) at a time the two SADC regional countries are facing power shortage problems.

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The launch was disclosed by Lord Leburu, senior executive for Innovative Solutions and Implementation for Grey to Green at the just ended Unesco Africa engineering week held at Victoria Falls.

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Leburu said his company was established to provide solutions to address the challenge of service delivery and stagnant economic growth in South Africa and the rest of Africa.

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He said the unlocking of these opportunities was achieved through facilitation with all key stakeholders thus paving the way for international investment in high impact infrastructure projects.

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“LEIP is the anchor project of the Musina Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with special fiscal incentives from South Africa’s treasury,” Leburu said.

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According to Leburu, the LEIP is envisaged to be the world’s first zero solid waste park and an integrated wildlife park to be situated on a 8 200 hectare farm comprising 4 400 hectares designated for a nature reserve, and 1 600 hectares for heavy and light industrial sites. “Eight hundred hectares will be designated for a truck-stop gateway logistics city, 3 500 for housing units and a hospital and recreation facilities,” Leburu said.

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A proposed coal gasification island is expected to supply clean syngas to heavy industrial plants to produce methanol, ammonia and urea, synthetic bitumen, zero sulphur diesel and a coke plant expected to beneficiate coking coal for steel and ferrochrome industries, according to Leburu.

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It is expected the proposed LEIP projects will result in a gasification island, coke and co-generation power plant, gas to liquid methanol plant, ammonia and urea plant, ethylene plant, formalyn-urea resin plant, a municipal waste gasification plant and small to medium enterprises maintenance support.

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“The actual generation capacity will be determined by a full feasibility study. This will be located close to the existing Tuli coal fields situated in Zimbabwe with proximity to an existing power line,” Leburu said.

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He added they intended to facilitate favourable licensing regulations and a competitive investment climate for the proposed project. “We also envisage fast approval and priority approval processes through an inter-governmental agreement between the two states,” Leburu said.

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He added there was excellent coal in Zimbabwe with proven reserves of 300-million tons with an average 2,36% sulphur content and 22,1% average ash content making it suitable for the project.

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“A bulk water supply study conducted indicated bulk water provision to the site is possible both from underground Limpopo River sources and from across the border in Zimbabwe. “We are having consultations with the Department of Water Affairs in South Africa to ensure bulk water supply,” Leburu said. – African Independent

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