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Erratic power supplies cripple Murowa output

Murowa Diamonds recorded a seven percent decline in output to 685 000 carats in the financial year ended December 31, 2019 due to erratic power supplies.

Murowa diamond mine complex
Murowa diamond mine complex

In the comparable period in 2018, the diamond producer, a business unit of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed and multi-commodity resource group, RioZim, produced 740 244 carats.

“Murowa Diamonds (Private) Limited recorded a seven percent regression in production to 685 000 carats from 740 244 carats produced in the comparative period in 2018.

“The low production was attributed to intermittent power supply which resulted in lost production running time,” said RioZim in its report for the period under review.

Despite the low volumes Murowa contributed positively to the group with a share of profit of ZWL$22,9 million.

RioZim noted that power supply deficit remains a key risk across the group’s operations despite the slight improvement in power supply in the first quarter of 2020.

To mitigate this risk, the company has invested in generators that will be commissioned at its Dalny and Renco gold mines.

“These generators are expected to fully complement power from the power utility by the end of second quarter of 2020,” it said.

Through its solar projects, the group is expected to be fully independent of Zesa. RioZim said it remains focused on implementing its two major projects namely the 178MW solar plant and the Sengwa thermal power station.

After closure of an Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) partner in the prior year, the firm is now focused on securing financial closure for the 178MW project.

“The operating and economic environment has been very challenging making it difficult to attract long term funding and foreign direct investment into the country.

“The company remains hopeful of reaching financial closure in the near future.

“Zera (Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority) has issued licenses for the first phase of 75MW,” it said.

On the proposed 2 800MW Sengwa Power Station, RioZim said:”During the year the company was focused on completing all the regulatory approvals and obtaining the necessary prerequisites for the project.”

The above activities include completion of a power demand analysis study of the region by the EPC partner, renewal of the Grid Impact Study, developing of a Conceptual study for the Sengwa town and commissioning of the Environmental Impact Assessment. The Chronicle

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