CHINESE global investor, Tsingshan Holding Group, has commenced construction of a second 150 000-tonne coke battery in the Hwange area in Matabeleland North province following completion last month of the initial project of the same plant size.
Tsingshan is a global player of repute, ranked at number 329 on the global 500 fortune companies’ index. The company has been operating in Zimbabwe for 10 years, first in Selous in Mashonaland West, then Hwange and now in Mvuma in the Midlands province.
A few weeks back, the group reported that its Dinson Colliery Company in Hwange had started heating up its new furnace in preparation for the start of metallurgical coke production at the US$30 million plant.
Dinson is one of the nine new coal mines and coking plants that were visited by President Mnangagwa in July last year and is set to become the largest and most advanced coke oven in Zimbabwe.
On Tuesday Cabinet received an update on the Tsingshan consolidated mining and value-addition project, which is set to significantly contribute towards achievement of the US$12 billion mining industry milestone by 2023.
In her post-Cabinet media briefing Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa, said the Chinese investor has made notable progress towards operationalising its projects.
“Cabinet was advised that since the signing of an MoU in 2018, Tsingshan had completed two high carbon ferrochrome furnaces in Selous, in April 2021 and completed the construction of a 150 000-tonne coke battery in the Hwange in April 2021,” she said.
“In May 2021 the company had commenced construction of an additional 150 000 tonne coke battery. Tsingshan will in November 2021 commence construction of a third coke battery and a power station in Hwange area.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said a ground breaking ceremony for the iron ore mine as well as a carbon steel plant will be held in July at Manhize area in Mvuma.
Cabinet has since set up an inter-ministerial committee to coordinate the Tsingshan consolidated mining projects, she said. The ministries in the committee are; Ministry of Mines and Mining Development whose permanent secretary will chair proceedings while others include Ministries of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Energy and Power Development, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Local Government and Public Works, Finance and Economic Development as well as Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.
Tsingshan Holding Group country expects to be a net exporter of power by 2023 through contribution of coal mining, coke production and energy generation capital projects mainly situated in Hwange.
Construction of coking plants at Dinson Colliery Company is in two phases and about US$30 million has been invested in the first phase with the same amount set aside for phase two.
The company started building its plant in 2019 but progress was stalled by the outbreak of Covid-19 until the Government engaged its Chinese counterparts to facilitate the return of experts who had been locked in the Asian country to complete the projects.