Coal hole

Zimbabwe: Desperate for electricity, Mnangagwa invests in coal with Chinese help

By Farai Shawn Matiashe

Premium badge Reserved for subscribers

Posted on April 5, 2023 13:11

Cooling towers are seen at a coal fired power station in Hwange
Cooling towers at a coal- fired power station in Hwange, Zimbabwe (REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo)

Despite promises to invest in clean energy, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa is working with the Chinese to invest in coal-fired power plants to reduce the ongoing electricity crisis. But critics say investment into coal comes at a huge environmental cost with droughts and floods already wreaking havoc in the southern African region.

Zimbabwe is ambitiously aiming to grow mining into a $12bn industry by 2023 with huge investment in coal mining in Hwange, a town located near Hwange National Park, the country’s largest wildlife reserve, about 335km from the second city of Bulawayo.

Each coal mining company in Hwange has been forced by the government to create a power plant that feeds into the national grid, according to Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube. By 2025 these thermal power plants will produce 5,000MW, giving the country an electricity surplus, the government says.

There's more to this story

Get unlimited access to our exclusive journalism and features today. Our award-winning team of correspondents and editors report from over 54 African countries, from Cape Town to Cairo, from Abidjan to Abuja to Addis Ababa. Africa. Unlocked.

Subscribe Now

cancel anytime