A major 100km extension to the core 330 kilovolt national electricity grid is being built by Zesa’s distribution unit, ZETDC, with loan funding from Dinson Iron and Steel Company (Disco), the operational arm of Tsingshan Holidings in Zimbabwe, to ensure the new giant steel mills at Manhize in Chivu District can be connected to the grid at Sherwood near Kwekwe and receive the vast amount of power they will need.
Cabinet approved the investment yesterday with Disco, which is building the giant steelmills and the iron and other mining in the Chivu and Chirumanzu areas, will be funding the extension to the national grid, including the giant substations, with the loan being paid off over five years through deductions on its electricity bills.
The new connection and grid extension will also benefit many other businesses on the route, since Disco, even when going full throttle, will only need 60 percent of the energy carried by the new line, leaving the other 40 percent for other Zesa customers, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting.
Tsingshan Holdings, one of the world’s largest steel makers, came into Zimbabwe as a top investor signing an agreement in 2018 to build a two million tonnes per year steel plant.
The deal only became possible with the advent of the Second Republic with President Mnangagwa able to assure China’s top industrialist that Zimbabwe was serious about its investment and business drives in a corruption-free environment.
Disco will be producing a range of steels and stainless steels and products made from these, such as roofing sheets and a wide range of requirements for local and regional markets.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube presented the proposed partnership between Disco and ZETDC for the construction of the 330kV line over 100km from Sherwood, the major grid interchange near Kwekwe, to Manhize.
“Cabinet would like to highlight that Dinson Iron and Steel Company is setting up a greenfield integrated iron and steel plant, alongside mining of iron in the Chivhu District of Mashonaland East Province and Chirumanzu District of the Midlands Province,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
“The US$750 million investment will significantly contribute to the country’s economic growth. Disco has accordingly applied to be connected to the national electricity grid in order to access the requisite power its plant operations.
“The electricity transmission line will stretch from the Kwekwe Sherwood Substation to Disco’s iron and steel manufacturing plant at Manhize in Chivhu.” *Herald*