ZPC owes Makomo Re­sources $25 mil­lion

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Se­nior Busi­ness Re­porter

COAL miner Makomo Re­sources says it is owed about $25 mil­lion by its largest cus­tomer, the Zim­babwe Power Com­pany (ZPC).

The sit­u­a­tion has im­pacted neg­a­tively on some of the miner’s de­vel­op­men­tal pro­jects, man­age­ment said.

In 2013, Makomo be­came the coun­try’s largest ther­mal coal pro­ducer over­tak­ing Hwange Col­liery Com­pany Limited, which is fac­ing vi­a­bil­ity chal­lenges.

Makomo Re­sources has the ca­pac­ity to pro­duce up to 300 000 tonnes of coal per month.

In an in­ter­view, Makomo Re­sources gen­eral man­ager, Mr Sam­son Mab­vira, said: “Right now it is around $25 mil­lion that we are owed by ZPC.

“And when you are owed that kind of money, then you start pri­ori­tis­ing on the limited re­sources which are com­ing our way to fo­cus on min­ing and mak­ing the coal avail­able to the na­tion.”

ZPC man­ag­ing di­rec­tor En­gi­neer Mr Noah Gwariro could not be reached for com­ment as his mo­bile num­ber was not reach­able. Ef­forts to get a com­ment from Zesa Hold­ings chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer En­gi­neer Josh Chi­famba and the power util­ity’s spokesper­son Mr Fullard Gwasira were also not suc­cess­ful as their mo­bile phones were not be­ing answered.

In 2014, Makomo Re­sources an­nounced plans to set aside $2,5 mil­lion to con­struct houses for its more than 500 em­ploy­ees to ease ac­com­mo­da­tion chal­lenges.

Work on the pro­ject was sched­uled to be­gin last year.

Ear­lier, the com­pany’s lo­gis­tics man­ager, Mr Vic­tor Mu­tokonyi, told this pa­per that their hous­ing pro­ject had been de­layed due to fi­nan­cial chal­lenges.

“Like in any other busi­ness set up, there are chal­lenges and the known chal­lenges (fi­nan­cial chal­lenges) but as a busi­ness we are try­ing our best that is why you are see­ing progress now. The chal­lenges em­anate from where we sell our coal; 95 per­cent of our busi­ness is with ZPC and ZPC has not been pay­ing us well enough,” he said, adding that 40 hous­ing units un­der a clus­ter set up would be built to ac­com­mo­date the mine’s work­ers and man­age­ment.

How­ever, Mr Mab­vira said ser­vic­ing of the hous­ing devel­op­ment site has al­ready be­gun with the open­ing of roads un­der­way to pave way for con­struc­tion work next year.

Makomo Re­sources, which is owned 60 per­cent by a group of six indige­nous busi­ness­peo­ple while the re­main­der is held by for­eign in­vestors, re­cently an­nounced that it had se­cured more than $1 bil­lion for con­struc­tion of a 600MW ther­mal power sta­tion in Hwange.

The fund­ing was sourced from var­i­ous fi­nance houses and the miner’s tech­ni­cal part­ners.

Sino Hy­dro car­ried out a fea­si­bil­ity study for the pro­ject on be­half of the miner and con­struc­tion is ex­pected to be­gin at the end of the first quar­ter of 2017.

It is ex­pected that the pro­ject will be com­pleted within 36 months.

Makomo Re­sources has open­cast op­er­a­tions at its 7 000 hectare En­tuba coal­fields in Hwange District with a life span of 30 years, and re­sources to sus­tain un­der­ground op­er­a­tions for over 100 years. — @okazunga

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