May 18, 2022

Tanzania: Kiwira coal mine set to start mass production

Mass production of coal at the Kiwira coal mine in the Mbeya region is expected to start next month following the completion of major rehabilitation of mine infrastructure.

Mines Minister MrDottoBiteko told Parliament yesterday that infrastructure rehabilitation at the Kiwira Coal Mine Project in Rungwe District, Mbeya Region has reached 98%.

The move will help the mine begin mass coal production of 50,000 tonnes per month from March this year, the Chamber said yesterday.

The project is expected to boost the country’s coal and power generation and supply, the House was told yesterday.

Mines Minister MrDottoBiteko said the government has taken long-lasting measures to allow the State Mining Corporation (STAMICO) to operate the mine instead of finding new investors.

He said that once launched, the Kiwira coal mine project will be able to produce 200 megawatts and thus help boost the country’s power supply.

He was responding to a question from Sophia Mwakagenda (Special Seats, CCM) who demanded the government’s statement on the project.

The legislator wanted to know when the government would hire a potential investor to operate the coal mine whose closure had deprived them of immense opportunities and benefits.

She also asked when the government will pay the arrears to the hundreds of workers who were laid off after the mine closed.

The deputy minister said; “Among the works in progress are the rehabilitation of the road infrastructure of the mine, the restoration of the railway lines in the underground mine, the water and sewerage systems, as well as the coal transport systems at the outside the mine,” he said.

This decision will stimulate the mass production of coal to help generate electricity and other uses.

Another step that has been taken is to initiate cooperation between STAMICO and the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) which works in synergy to facilitate the operation of the Mine.

On this point, STAMICO will be responsible for the production of coal for the power plant and TANESCO will be there for the construction of the power plant and its supporting infrastructure.

The Minister added that TANESCO will also be responsible for generating electricity and supplying it to people by constructing a 100 km power line from the mine.

“Currently, the mine is progressing with the extraction of coal for industrial use in the Kabulo area. The coal is also sold in various cement works in the country,” he said.

Kiwira coal mine operations were shut down in 2013 and all workers were made redundant.

Biteko assured that all former workers who have been made redundant at the mine will be paid as the government has completed the verification exercise.

“All former Kiwira Coal Mine employees will receive their dues and the government, through the Ministry of Finance and Planning, has already assessed the debts before starting to issue the payments,” he said. he declares.

The Deputy Minister assured the legislator and all workers that no one would be left behind once the payment exercise began.