Mozambique allows Jindal to study $3 bn power plant

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Mozambique has allowed India's Jindal Steel & Power to initiate studies on building a $3-billion power plant in Tete province, powered by the region's vast coal reserves, state media said Tuesday.

The 2,640-megawatt plant would produce electricity for Mozambique and neighbouring countries in a region struggling to produce enough power to feed their growing economies, Noticias newspaper said.

Energy Minister Salvador Namburete and Jindal Power & Steel's vice president Naveen Jindal signed the agreement Monday, the paper said.

The firm has also received a 25-year mining concession covering 21,540 hectares, which is expected to produce 6.66 million tonnes of coal a year.

Jindal is expected to invest over $175 million (133 million euros) in the mining component of the project, the paper said.

"Jindal will start producing coal for burning in 2015, and since this product cannot be maintained in large volumes for a long time, there is a need to ensure that by that time the plant is in operation to make use of coal," an unidentified official told the paper.

In addition to Jindal, Brazil's Vale and Australia's Riversdale are developing plans for coal-fired plants in Tete. Each of those plants would produce 2,000 MW of electricity.

© 2011 AFP

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