Singapore-based Nava Bharat will start work this year on a new $650-million powerplant at the mouth of Zambia's biggest coal mine, Maamba Collieries, about 410 kilometers southeast of the capital, Lusaka. The mine has been dormant since 1997, but it was re-opened by the country’s president, Rupiah Banda, on July 8.
Construction of the 300-MW plant at the state-owned facility is scheduled to be finished by 2014. A second 300-MW phase could be built later.
Nava Bharat, a subsidiary of India's Bombay-listed Nava Bharat Ventures, became an equity strategic partner in Maamba Collieries Ltd. after acquiring a 65% controlling stake in April 2010.
In addition to the powerplant, Nava Bharat will contribute $100 million toward improvements of the mine.
The new plant will process raw coal into cleaner-burning coal to meet the rising demand for energy by Zambia's cement, chemical, beverage and coal industries. “Our target is to produce 50,000 tons of coal each month, and we are on course to achieving set targets,” said the company’s director, Ashwin Devineni.