China Africa Sunlight Energy Ltd. said it plans to invest as much as $2.1 billion developing coal mines and building a 2,100-megawatt plant powered by the fuel in Zimbabwe to help ease electricity shortages.
The company, a venture between Old Stone Investments Ltd. of Zimbabwe and Shandong Taishan Sunlight, will start with capacity to produce 300 megawatts by mid-2015 and raise this to 600 megawatts by the end of that year, General Manager Charles Mugari said. The company has spent $20 million on exploration, and was granted rights to look for coal and coal-bed methane in the area in October 2012.
“For our project to be fully operational, we are looking at five years,” he said in an Aug. 29 interview in Gwayi, 703 kilometers (437 miles) southwest of Harare, the capital. “For the coal mining, we are looking at the end of next year. For power generation and coal mining we are planning to sink a billion dollars.” The company also wants to mine coking coal, which is used in steelmaking.