Beifa power station

From Global Energy Monitor

The Beifa power station is a proposed 270-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in the Hwange rural district, Zimbabwe.

Location

The map below shows the approximate location of Dinde in the Hwange rural district, Zimbabwe, but not the exact location of the proposed Beifa power station.

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Background

Starting in approximately February 2019, Chinese nationals – with Beifa Investments (Pvt) Limited – were touring and exploring the Dinde area for coal mining and potentially building a coal-fired power plant.[1] According to April 2021 reporting, the company believed the Dinde project was "of national importance as it will feed into our proposed 270 Mega Watts Power Plant which is one-third of the Hwange installed capacity. The project will go a long way in alleviating the power crisis obtaining in the country.”[2]

As of May 2021, some of the coal identified at the site was potentially unsuitable for power generation and the project was mired in controversy.[3]

Opposition

At full scale, the coal project will be implemented in four wards which could consist of 15-20 villages each.[4]

The site location, Dinde, is reportedly home to a mixture of the Nambya and the Tonga people, both sidelined minorities, who were settled there by the Rhodesian government in the 1930s after being forcibly uprooted from their ancestral lands in areas including Chinamatila, Bumbusi, and Mandavu to make way for the Hwange National Park. The proposed coal operations raise many concerns, including about impacts to the environment and heritage sites.[5][6]

In April 2021, Never Tshuma - a Katambe villager in Hwange and the chair of the Dinde Development Association - was arrested for allegedly inciting fellow villagers to resist a coal exploration exercise by investors in the area.[7] Certain traditional leaders and government officials have also pushed back against those resisting the project. Information for Development Trust, a non-profit organization supporting the media to probe corruption and bad governance, investigated the site. The state withdrew its charges against Tshuma in July 2021, without giving any reasons. The Centre for Natural Resource Governance argued that not only were the charges frivolous but the bail conditions were unjust. "Banishing Never Tshuma from his rural home served as a painful reminder of the repressive colonial laws inherited by independent Zimbabwe which were used to contain Zimbabweans’ resistance to colonial rule," the group stated.[8]

In April 2021, the community petitioned the Parliament of Zimbabwe to investigate the authenticity of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project.[8]

In May 2021, The Standard reported that "Unlike most typical Zimbabwean land-use and ownership disputes in which ruling [Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front] activists often acted as enforcers of unpopular government policies, the war in Dinde is a factional contest."[3]

In June 2021, articles highlighted opposition by the Centre for Natural Resource Governance, a coalition of several NGOs, and trade unions against mining in the area and its risks.[9][10]

According to November 2021 reporting, coal exploration around Dinde was ongoing despite Zimbabwe’s climate pledges. Journalist Tafadzwa Ufumeli wrote: "Resistance from villagers may continue, though some are beginning to feel powerless, locally and globally."[11] Later that month, a local 8 year old girl's life was taken because of third-degree burns caused by a coal steam fire. Never Tshuma, who is the Chairperson of the Dinde Residents Association, said: “What we do not get is why this mining project, that we continue to defy in Dinde, can be considered a development for us when all it brings is displacement and suffering... Surely mining cannot be considered more important than our lives and wellness. This is an attack on our constitutional rights and we are not happy with it.”[12]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Beifa Investments (Pvt) Ltd
  • Parent company: Beifa Investments (Pvt) Ltd
  • Location: Dinde, Hwange, Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe
  • Coordinates: -18.410819, 26.784252 (approximate)
  • Status: Announced
  • Capacity: 270 MW
  • Type:
  • Start date:
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing:

Articles and resources

References

External resources

External articles