Zimbabwe signs $1 billion investment deal with China’s Sinosteel Corporation

Zimbabwe will get $1 billion worth of investment from China’s Sinosteel Corporation for the construction of a power plant and to more than triple ferrochrome output in the country.

While speaking at a news conference with the southern African country’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday, Sinosteel president Andong Liu said the Chinese firm intends to build a 400 megawatt coal-bed methane-fired power plant in western Zimbabwe.

“We will continue to review our process to facilitate investment inflows as well as ease of doing business,” Mnangagwa said after the signing of the investment agreement.

Asides the power plant project, Sinosteel also plans to build three additional furnaces at its majority-owned Zimasco business, which would raise ferrochrome output by 120,000 tonnes over the next five years to 300,000 tonnes per year, Reuters reported. Andong noted that ferrochrome output from Zimasco is projected at 500,000 tonnes annually in ten years’ time.

The three new smelting furnaces will aid the supply of excess electricity to the national grid, said President Mnangagwa at the same event. Two smelters will be based in Zvishavane, 357 kilometers (221 miles) south of Harare, he said, and another in the central town of Kwekwe.

Mnangagwa, who came to power in November, has promised to welcome foreign investment to rebuild the Zimbabwean economy that halved in size since 2000 under former President Robert Mugabe’s rule. He took office after a de facto military coup ended Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule.

Earlier this month, Mines Minister Winston Chitando said he expects to sign three mining-investment agreements in the coming months.