China signs USD 4 bln of energy agreements with Zimbabwe

(AGI) Beijing, Dec 2 - The visit of Chinese President, XiJinping, to Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe greeted himas a "true friend" of his country, has seen agreements in theenergy sector dominate the talks between Beijing and Harare.Late on Tuesday night, China and Zimbabwe signed agreements forthe modernisation of the Chinese part of the Hwange powerstation, with two new expansion projects worth a total of 1.4billion dollars, which will add a 600 megawatts of capacity tothe national grid and will help reduce Zimbabwe's energydeficit. The expansion works, according to reports in

(AGI) Beijing, Dec 2 - The visit of Chinese President, XiJinping, to Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe greeted himas a "true friend" of his country, has seen agreements in theenergy sector dominate the talks between Beijing and Harare.Late on Tuesday night, China and Zimbabwe signed agreements forthe modernisation of the Chinese part of the Hwange powerstation, with two new expansion projects worth a total of 1.4billion dollars, which will add a 600 megawatts of capacity tothe national grid and will help reduce Zimbabwe's energydeficit. The expansion works, according to reports in the localmedia, will begin in the first half of 2016 and should befinished by around mid 2019. Funding will come mainly from theExport-Import Bank of China, one of the Chinese giants involvedin the financing of infrastructure projects abroad and that hadalready previously funded projects for the development of theZimbabwean electricity network. Exim Bank will contribute 1.2billion dollars, while the remaining 200 million dollars willcome from the local Zimbabwe Power Company. In total, duringthe visit of Xi Jinping, who is still in Zimbabwe, 10agreements were signed between the governments of the twocountries, and aside from energy there was an importantagreement with the local telecommunications group, TelOne, forthe modernisation of the network with the transition to fibreoptics costing 98 million dollars. Also of note is theagreement for the construction of a new parliament building,which should cost about 145 million dollars, although the exactfigure was not released. China has been active for some time inthe Zimbabwean energy sector. Last July, Beijing had signed a1.1 billion dollar agreement for a coal plant, which will bebuilt by China State Construction Engineering together withlocal group, Lusulu. Zimbabwe expects the project to lead to anincrease in the construction of infrastructure in the northwestof the country. Currently Zimbabwe produces only half of itsenergy, at peak, of the amount necessary to meet its own needs.The Chinese group Sinohydro is also working on the expansion ofthe plant in Kariba, in the south of the country, which by 2018should input a further 300 megawatts of power to the nationalgrid. China is also expanding in Zimbabwe's solar industry,with agreements for three 300-megawatt solar projects signed inOctober by three Chinese companies. (AGI). .