Gwayi Mine power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Gwayi Mine power station was a proposed 600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Zimbabwe, sponsored by China Africa Sunlight Energy.

There was also a 1,200 MW proposed coal plant at Gwayi, sponsored by Shanghai Electric Group, Shenergy Co Limited, and Nan Jiang Group: Gwayi power station (Shanghai).


The map below shows Bulawayo province, the approximate location where the plant would be built.

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China Africa Sunlight Energy, a 50/50 joint venture between Zimbabwe’s Old Stone Investments and Shandong Taishan Sunlight of China, was planning a 600 MW power station and coal mine at its Gwayi concessions in Matabeleland north. The coal mine and power station would have been the first phase of a US$2.1 billion project that would eventually include a 2,200 megawatt thermal power station, a gas extraction plant, and a coal brick factory, among others. The coal mine was expected to produce 300 million metric tonnes of thermal coal per annum. The projects were being funded by the China Exim Bank.[1]

The company submitted a mining environmental impact assessment (EIA) report for the project in 2013. Construction work on an initial 600 MW coal station was planned for 2014, with operation of the first 300 MW unit planned for December 2016 and the second in 2017.[1] both later pushed to 2018.[2]

The company secured a 600 MW generation license from the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority in September 2014.[3]

In March 2015 China Africa Sunlight Energy said it was waiting for financial closure to begin infrastructure development on the project. The company said the second 300 MW plant would focus on coal-bed methane gas extraction.[4]

In December 2015 China-based Yunnan Linkun Investment Group acquired a 50 percent shareholding in China Africa Sunlight Energy and said it planned to invest an initial US$700 million towards the development of the Gwayi coal project.[5]

In June 2016 it was reported that construction on unit 1 was planned for the end of the year, at an estimated cost of US$2.1 billion. Construction on unit 2 was planned for 2017.[6]

A January 2017 article stated that two private sector agreements had been signed between the "International Business of China" and China Africa Sunlight Energy for the Gwayi plant and for coal and methane gas mines. It is unclear whether "International Business of China" referred to a specific company and whether the article referred to agreements made recently or in earlier years.[7]

In May 2018 it was reported the project hung in the balance "due to funding constraints."[8]

In May 2020 the Kusile Rural District Council (KRDC) called on the Zimbabwe government to revoke the mining licences granted to Yunnan Linkun Investment Group and China Africa Sunlight Energy in Gwayi: “We think that these companies don’t have the capacity to run these mines and are probably holding onto them for speculative purposes and therefore we are calling on the Ministry of Mines to cancel their licences."[9]

With no known developments since January 2017, the project appears to be shelved or abandoned.

Project Details

  • Sponsor: China Africa Sunlight Energy
  • Parent company: Yunnan Linkun Investment Group, China Africa Sunlight Energy
  • Location: Gwayi, Zimbabwe
  • Coordinates: -20.17, 28.58 (approximate)
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Capacity: 600 MW (Units 1 and 2: 300 MW)
  • Type:
  • Projected in service:
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source: Gwayi mine
  • Source of financing: China Ex-Im Bank

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