British buyers seek Zimbabwean coal to plug energy supply gaps

By David Whitehouse
Posted on Wednesday, 6 July 2022 08:12, updated on Tuesday, 8 November 2022 12:23

Heated coke is transported to be quenched by water at the SSI steel plant at Redcar
Heated coke is transported to be quenched by water at the SSI steel plant at Redcar REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

British energy users are seeking off-take agreements to purchase coal from a project in Zimbabwe as the Russia-Ukraine war prompts a search for alternative supplies.

The coal mining company Contango, which has a 70% interest in the Lubu coal project in north-western Zimbabwe, is getting off-take proposals from industrial users, including from the UK, executive director Carl Esprey tells The Africa Report.

Record gas prices are depressing global demand and causing users to switch to coal, while sharp cuts in Russian gas flows to Europe are raising alarms about supplies ahead of the winter, the International Energy Agency said on 5 July.