Government Pushes for Self-Sufficiency in Power Generation for Mining Sector

Edgar Moyo

The Government of Zimbabwe has underscored the critical need for self-sufficiency in power generation within the mining sector, particularly as the industry experiences substantial growth driven by the rapidly increasing lithium mines.

Energy and Power Development Minister Edgar Moyo emphasized the significant surge in power demand and highlighted the necessity for collaboration between the government and the private sector to meet the increased demand.

“We recognize that the mining sector is growing, particularly with the coming of the lithium mines. The demand for power has surged phenomenally,” said Minister Moyo. “And, as the government, we cannot adequately provide power alone, we need to do it with the private sector,” Moyo told the chronicle.

To address this challenge, the government has approved a policy mandating that miners, especially those in the ferrochrome sector who benefit from substantial subsidies, develop their own renewable energy generation plants.

“We have approved a policy that these miners, particularly the ferrochrome miners who are heavily subsidized, should develop their own generation plants from the renewable side,” Moyo said.

The policy sets a clear timeline for implementation.

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“We gave ferrochrome miners two years to set up their own generation plants. The time frame begins this year, and we expect that by 2026 they should have set up their own generation plants,” Minister Moyo added.

This move is part of a broader government strategy to boost the country’s power output. In recent years, significant attention has been given to expanding electricity production, most notably with the commissioning of Hwange Units 7 and 8 last year. These units have added a robust 600MW to the national grid, solidifying Hwange Thermal as the country’s major electricity supplier.

The proactive approach in mandating self-sufficiency in power generation for the mining sector is expected to alleviate the pressure on the national grid while promoting sustainable energy solutions.

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