The southern African nation’s six coal miners have a standing arrangement to supply 300,000 tonnes of coal to Hwange Power Station every month but constant breakdowns of ageing equipment mean the plant is taking in less coal.
“The power coal stockpile has been growing, hence we requested to be allowed to export some of it and this was granted,” Linos Masimura, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Coal Producers Association told Reuters.
Masimura said the coal would be exported to other countries in southern Africa but producers could look beyond the region if port facilities were available.
Zimbabwe does not usually allow the export of power coal to ensure adequate domestic supply.
Hwange plant expansion
The Hwange plant has a design capacity of 920MW but was producing 410MW on Friday. The power station is being expanded by China’s Sino Hydro to add another 600MW capacity.
The country has instituted frequent power cuts, known locally as load shedding, due to electricity shortages.
With average demand of 1,735MW, local power generation stood at 1,277MW, according to the state power company.
So we are selling the coal at US$x per MW and importing electricity and pay US$y per MW and we can be certain y is considerably higher than x. Indeed the price difference in one year alone would probably pay the cost of Hwange Stage 7 and 8 which should have been completed soon after independence in 1980, over 40 years ago!
No wonder the country is in a real mess, no nation on earth can ever hope to thrive with such criminal waste of resources and opportunities!