COAL miner, Makomo Resources, has expressed readiness to supply the Hwange Units 7 and 8 expansion project, and plans to construct a conveyor belt to the power plant are at an advanced stage. Makomo is among the four companies that will supply one million tonnes of coal to Hwange Thermal Power Station before commissioning of the two units.
The two additional units are being constructed at a cost of about US$1,2 billion by a Chinese contractor and would add 600MW into the national grid, a development that will ensure improved power supplies.
In an interview after the tour of mine by Energy and Power Development Minister, Soda Zhemu on Thursday, Makomo Resources general manager, Mr. Kudakwashe Nyabonda said designs for the conveyor belt have been drawn and the company was now scouting for investors.
“We already have a contract to supply units 7 and 8 with coal and one of the requirements of the contract is the installation of a 12,5 km conveyor belt that will run from the mine to the plant,” he said.
Mr. Nyabonda said the designs of the conveyor belt were already in place and the route has already been surveyed.
“Now it’s only the issue of financing and once secured work will start,” he said.
The construction of the conveyor belt requires US$34 million and in the event of failure to meet the March 2021 commencement of operation of Unit 7, the company can use road transport to supply the coal.
“It’s included in the contract that if we fail to construct the conveyor belt on time, we can use road transport to supply the unit,” said Mr. Nyabonda.
He said to guarantee supplies for units 7 and 8, the mine was opening a new pit.
“As a mine we have got capacity to mine and sell 200 000t of coal a month.”
Mr. Nyabonda said the company was channelling the bulk of its coal to the local market and was mainly supplying thermal power stations.
He said only about seven percent of the production was being exported mainly to Zambia and recently DRC and the major consumers were the cement manufacturing industries.
The mine is at the moment producing an average of 100 000t per month.
Meanwhile, Minister Zhemu applauded the company for its level of preparedness and commitment towards improved coal supplies. He said the conveyor belt will guarantee efficiency in coal deliveries.
“Makomo Resources is one of the major suppliers of coal at Hwange Power Station. We interacted with the general manager and we are
very happy that they are on course on the initial arrangement that they will be providing coal to the units that we expect to commission next
year,” said Minister Zhemu.