China Commits $1.2 Billion to Zimbabwe Power Plant as Xi Visits

  • Zimbabwe Finance Minister makes announcement in Harare
  • China's Xi Jinping makes first state visit to Zimbabwe

China will provide a $1.2 billion loan to rehabilitate and expand Zimbabwe’s coal-fired Hwange power plant, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa told reporters Tuesday, as Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived on a two-day state visit.

The work on two generators at Zimbabwe Power Co.’s Hwange thermal power plant will add 600 megawatts of power to the southern African nation’s failing power supply, easing rationing of electricity, Chinamasa said in Harare, the capital.

“There are other power projects which are going to be funded by China,” Chinamasa said, citing licenses that have been granted to Makomo Resources Ltd., China Africa Sunlight Energy Ltd. and Per Lusulu Power. “Each will add 600 megawatts when complete,” he said, without specifying the finance the three projects would receive.

Zimbabwe rations power daily to consumers because it can’t meet average demand of 2,200 megawatts. Low water levels at its Kariba hydropower plant and ageing equipment at Hwange have cut production from an installed capacity of close to 1,800 megawatts to about half in recent years.

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