Fairness Moyana in Hwange
INDIA remains committed to furthering the warm relations it enjoys with Zimbabwe as evidenced by the extension of a US$468 million loan facility for power projects in the country, a diplomat has said.
This was said by the Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Vijay Kanduja during a recent tour of the Deka water pipeline project in Hwange by President Mnangagwa.
“During the landmark visit of the Hon Vice- President of India to Zimbabwe in 2018, Government of India had extended three lines of credit amounting to US$468,1m which include the life extension project of Hwange Thermal Power Station, upgradation of the Bulawayo Thermal Power Plant and upgrade of the Deka Pumping Station and River water intake system.
I’m glad that the first of these projects started in 2021 despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, there is considerable progress on the other two projects,” said Amb Kanduja.
Work on the Bulawayo and Hwange Thermal plants are expected to commence soon after finalisation of agreements. He said Indian investors continued to express interest in investing in Zimbabwe’s economy riding on the Second Republic’s mantra “Zimbabwe is open for business”.
“Our efforts at Government-to-Government level to enhance the relationship are complemented by Indian businesses and the vibrant Indian diaspora.
Indian investments in Zimbabwe are of the order of US$500m and in diverse sectors like food processing, beverages, mining, textiles, agriculture equipment, polymers, chemicals, paints, et cetera. Indian investors provide direct employment to over 5 000 people in Zimbabwe.
More and more Indian investors are looking at Zimbabwe to invest as was also evident from the interest shown by two large Indian business delegations that visited Zimbabwe,” he said.
The Deka pumping station and River water intake system will see the construction of a new 42km water pipeline that will support Hwange Power Station’s Stage 7 and 8 units which will contribute a combined 600MW into the national grid.
The pipeline which will be slightly bigger in diameter than the existing one will boost the operational efficiency of the Hwange Thermal Power plant thus reducing electricity production costs.
The Deka pipeline is also expected to provide water at three community points along its path as well as augment supplies in Hwange township.
Amb Kanduja said his country assisted Zimbabwe during the Covid-19 pandemic through the provision of food and medical aid.
“During the ongoing pandemic, our co-operation continued apace. India provided 1 000 metric tonnes of rice, medicines, ambulances and vaccines in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Last year through the India-UN Development Partnership Fund, the country contributed US$1m for climate resilient agriculture in Chiredzi and Mangwe districts which is expected to benefit over 5 000 small farmers.
A team from India is in the country to install machines for the upgrade of the Indo-Zim Technology centres nationwide. The Deka water pipeline project which was facilitated through a US$48m loan from Exim Bank is being implemented by MS Afcons-Vijeta JV.