Mining & Energy
National electricity programme will cost over five billion dollars
Direct intervention of Cahora Bassa district administrator Ana Maria Beressone has finally led to a resettlement agreement – but for a coal project that seems highly improbable. (Zitamar 19 July) The Luxembourg-based Eurasia Resources Group (ERG) plans to mine coal in Chissua, Tete, and burn it on the spot to generate electricity to sell to Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Many coal -fired power stations have been announced for Tete over the past decade, but none has gone ahead. Ncondezi Energy still says that it wants to build a 300MW plant using Tete coal to supply state power company EDM, but is still looking for money. (Zitamar 27 July) Meanwhile Vale coal production is down, Zitamar (17 July) reports, with a big fall in coking coal for steel production. In the first half of the year it produced 3 mn tonnes of coking coal, down from 3.7 in the first half of last year; lower value thermal coal rose from 1.8 mn t to 2.3 mn t.
On the resttlement, Beressone said that the fertile land in Chissua made it an important food producing zone, so local people turned down two previous resettlement plans. But a new agreement was signed on 5 July identifying both farm and residential land for 721 families. Most importantly, ERG has reversed a previous refusal and agreed to build a pipeline to supply water not just to Chissua but also Chitima, near the Jindal coal mine. In 2013 Jindal promised to pay $6 mn for a water supply to Chitima, but never did and in April formally reneged on the agreement. (Zitamar 27 April)
Elsewhere, at least one person was killed and two injured by police from the Rapid Intervention Unit (UIR) in riot gear during protests Inhassunge, Zambezia, over resettlement compensation packages offered by the Great Wall Mining Development Company, a Chinese company doing heavy sands exploration in the area. Protesters said that the UIR beat protesters and took away phones from everyone at the scene. Police confirm that they did so, but claim it was in response to acts of violence by the protesters. Zitamar (31 July) notes that last year, Great Wall gave Frelimo 500 motorised tricycles worth $410,000, a gift which may now be paying dividends.
By Joseph HanlonSource: News reports & clippings
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