• Sun. May 26th, 2024

Sabi Star Mine on track to complete 15MW thermal power plant in second half

ByETimes

Apr 25, 2024 #Sabi Star Mine

By Stephen Chandisareva

HARARE – Sabi Star Mine says it expects to finish setting up its US$25 million 15 MW thermal power plant before year-end.

The availability of electricity in Zimbabwe has been subject to load-shedding. Grid power in Zimbabwe is subject to fluctuations in voltage, which, if unregulated, damage end-users’ equipment. The majority of miners use diesel-generated electricity to augment power supplies.

Sabi Star Mine is aiming to switch to low-cost thermal power.

Eng Oswald Makonese, mine manager at Sabi Star, said construction work is progressing well.

“Civil works are at 80% completion. We have already taken delivery of all the machinery and equipment for the power plant.

“What is left is just to assemble the power equipment. We are pleased with the progress so far,” he said.

Eng. Makonese said the thermal power plant will meet the power requirements of the mine.

“The mine system has a requirement of 12 MW and there are plans to feed the additional 3 MW into the national grid for the benefit of the nearby community,” he said.

This comes as there have been calls for the big miners to develop the communities they are working in, both economically and socially.

“The overarching benefit of the project is that it has already created employment for hundreds of people in Buhera. The development of this infrastructure will provide a boost to the local economy through the income multiplier effect.”

The biggest growth drivers of the Zimbabwean thermal power industry are factors like the rapidly growing industrial sector, upcoming ambitious projects due to increasing investments, and growing urban and rural populations, which are also likely to boost electricity demand.

Along with a significant contribution to the economy, the thermal power sector is responsible for industrial emissions in the country.

Eng. Makonese said there is a plan in place to minimise the potential hazards of thermal affluence to villagers in the near communities.

“The plant has flue gas conditioning equipment, including a 60-metre-tall chimney. This includes a Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD) system and electrostatic precipitators,” Eng. Makonese said.

“The FGD process is designed to remove a significant percentage of the sulphur dioxide contained within the flue gases in order to comply with current SI 72 of 2009 and SAZ ZSW 977. We anticipate that FGD will remove up to 99% of the particulate matter.”

Sabi Star lithium mine is one of the three biggest lithium projects in this country, and among a few big lithium mines in Africa. However, what sets Sabi Star apart from the rest is that it holds the best grade of spodumene ore in Africa.

At full production, Sabi Star Mine will produce 300 000 tonnes of concentrate per year generating in excess of US$600 million for the nation at the current prices.

In addition to generating much-needed foreign currency for the country, Sabi Star Lithium Mine has also been active in community investment.

At the peak of construction, the mine created employment for 1000 employees, over 80 percent of whom came from local communities. At present, Sabi Star still employs 600 people on various projects.

Through the procurement of goods and services from the local suppliers, several downstream businesses are going to thrive in this district and beyond. Sabi Star is promoting the growth of the provincial and national gross domestic product.

 

By ETimes

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