Home » Business » Hwange Coal Output Goes Up 60 Percent

HWANGE Colliery Company Ltd has increased coal output by more than 60 percent over the past three months after Mota-Engil, a company contracted by the coal miner, started mining on its allocated claims, managing director Mr Thomas Makore said.

Monthly coal output increased steadily from about 140 000 tonnes to 240 000 tonnes and the company expects to reach 300 000 tonnes in the first quarter next year.

“Production has significantly increased since Mota-Engil started operations,” said Mr Makore.

“We also upgraded some of our equipment using the $6 million we got from BancABC.”

The ongoing recapitalisation of Hwange Colliery will see the company securing equipment financed through loans from PTA Bank and Export Import Bank of China. This would see monthly coal production rising above 300 000 tonnes, Mr Makore said.

Between 2015 and 2022, Hwange said it expects to ramp up annual production from 5,3 million tonnes to 18,3 million tonnes.

“The recapitalisation of the company is an ongoing exercise and we will soon be looking at other options including rights offer to raise additional working capital,” said Mr Makore.

For the past two years, Hwange has been focusing on raising production capacity and with the anticipated rise in production the company is now looking at new potential markets.

“There is a steady demand for our coke products and we are pushing reasonable volumes to South Africa, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Mr Makore said in October.

In the short term, demand would be spurred by the tobacco sector while in the medium to long term, coal uptake will increase on the back of revival of the manufacturing industry and upcoming thermal power projects in the country and the region.

The Zimbabwe Power Company is expanding its Hwange Thermal Power Station to produce additional 600 megawatts and this will increase demand for thermal coal.

The revival of the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company will stimulate demand for coking coal.

“The overseas remain a potential market. However, we need to reduce our logistics costs.

“This requires collaborative efforts with the National Railways of Zimbabwe as well as rail operators in South Africa and Mozambique .

“This will ensure efficient ways of getting the products at the ports.

“We have received enquiries particularly from India,” Mr Makore said.

Source : The Herald

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