Binga power station
|This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of Zimbabwe|
Binga power station, also known as the Lusulu power station, is a proposed 2,100-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Zimbabwe. The first phase would be 2 x 350 MW.
The map below shows Binga, the approximate location where the plant would be built near the Lusulu coal fields.
In 2012, a French consortium was granted a licence by the Zimbabwean government to build a US$3 billion thermal power plant in the country. The 2,000 MW power station would be situated in the Lusulu coal fields at Binga, in the Matabeleland North province of Zimbabwe. The coal fields have an estimated 1.2 billion tonnes of coal reserves. The expected commissioning date was 2016.
PER Lusulu Power is the company pursuing the project. In August 2014, its CEO said the company had bought coal plants from the European company EDF and would be transporting them to Zimbabwe to construct the power station. Construction was planned to begin in 2015, with four units with 500 MW capacity each. Unit 1 was planned for operation in 2018.
In July 2015, Lusulu Power secured a US$950 million loan from China and signed an EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) agreement with China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) for the first phase of a 600-MW coal-fired power plant, for a plant that was eventually planned to reach 2,000 MW. Construction of phase one was planned to begin in early 2016 at a cost of US$1.1 billion. Commissioning was planned for 2019 and was to include construction of roads, transmission lines, and related infrastructure.
As of May 2017, the project had changed to 2,100 MW: phase 1A of 350 MW; phase 1B of 350 MW; phase 2 of 700M W; and phase 3 of 700 MW. The total development cost of the phase 1A project is estimated to be US$1 billion. The company's website stated that the following milestones have been completed:
- Power Generation Licence Concession.
- Transmission licence.
- PER has been accorded to be a project of national status.
- Implementation Agreement with the Government have been granted and signed.
- The Environmental Social Impact Assessment has been approved.
- Coal Supply Agreements have been signed with the Coal Supplier.
- Water supply has been agreed.
In May 2018, the company's website stated that financial close and construction of Phase 1A (350MW) would take place in H2 of 2019, with commissioning planned for H2 of 2022 and commercial generation in Q1 of 2023. As of June 2019, the information on the website had not been updated in over a year.
In December 2019, PER Lusulu's website said the power project "has made significant progress towards achieving financial close" with both financial close and construction targeted for H2 2020, and commissioning by H2 2023.
In June 2021, PER Lusulu's website does not have any new updates.
There are also no updates related to phase 2 (700 MW) and phase 3 (700 MW), which appear to be shelved.
In 2018, Urgewald released their “2018 Coal Plant Developers List” which gave key information and analyses on country’s coal plant pipelines to bring awareness and attention to the public. The Binga power plant in Zimbabwe was included in the report, with emphasis on how the plant is heavily funded by China. The report expresses concern over how the coal plant may keep Zimbabwe’s rural populations left in the dark around coal mining, exports, and the government’s coal energy economy.
- Sponsor: PER Lusulu Power
- Parent company:
- Location: Binga, Matabeleland North province, Zimbabwe
- Coordinates: -17.616667, 27.333 (approximate)
- Status: Unit 1A: Permitted; Unit 1B: Permitted; Phases 2-3: Shelved
- Gross Capacity: 2,100 MW (Unit 1A: 350 MW, Unit 1B: 350 MW; Additional phases 2 x 700 MW
- Type: Ultra-supercritical
- Projected in service: 2023
- Coal Type:
- Coal Source: Lusulu coal field
- Source of financing: US$950 million in debt finance via Sinosure Buyers Credit Facility with Bank of China
Articles and resources
- "Construction of new Zimbabwean power plant to start soon," ESI Africa, January 24, 2012
- "Pierre Nicolas, CEO and Thembani Mhambi, Public Relations Officer, PER Lusulu Power," MACIG, August 29, 2014
- "Chinese firm contracted to build 600 MW coal-fired power plant in Zimbabwe," Africa News, July 24, 2015
- "$950m loan secured for Lusulu power project," Chronicle, July 27, 2015
- "About Us," PER Lusulu Power, accessed May 2017
- "Power generation," PER Lusulu Power, Internet archive on 22 May 2018
- "Power generation," PER Lusulu Power, accessed June 2019
- "Power generation," PER Lusulu Power, accessed December 2019
- "Power generation," PER Lusulu Power, accessed June 3, 2021
- “Regional Briefings for the 2018 Coal Plant Developers List”, Urgewald, October 4, 2018.