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MBABANE – The Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) has swiftly sprang into action of starting coal prospecting at Lubhuku, a preliminary stage towards the establishment of the envisaged thermal power station, projected to cost about E15 billion.

SEC has sought the services of a South African company, Diabo, to do the prospecting work on its behalf. SEC’s Vusi Gama said the company has already started doing the prospecting, which comprise of ascertaining the quantity of the coal as well as its quality. Gama said the prospecting process is expected to be finished within six months.
He said the prospecting findings together with the feasibility study results will be an informant of whether the thermal plant could have a power production capacity of 300 Megawatts or more.
He said the decision is to construct 1 000 Megawatts and this would be more so because SEC is looking at exporting energy to other countries and to remain self efficient. Furthermore, Gama said the findings of the coal prospecting helps the company to know what kind of equipment would be required to produce electricity.
After completing the prospecting process and feasibility study, Gama said they will start looking at the financing model of the project. He said it might be funded through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) where other businesspeople can partner.
“For now, we cannot tell what the exact business opportunities that would be availed are and this will be made available to businesspeople once the feasibility studies are complete. It would be premature to unpack what the business community should expect but definitely, (business) opportunities will be availed,” Gama said.

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