With just 10 elephants Zimbabwe can establish how much methane gas Lupane has – MP


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HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, like has been indicated, there are a lot of multiple effects and multiple benefits from the existence of that gas.  So many subsidiary industries will definitely arise out of the mining of gas.  Clearly the petrochemical industry and the energy sector as clearly indicated.  As you we all know, this country is short of energy – 2000 megawatts at most is what we need currently with our depressed industry.  If the industry – as we are aspiring for the 2030 Middle Income Economy, it is believed that from studies we need about 9000 megawatts.  At Lupane alone there is potential to put up a gas fired power station which can generate that amount of energy – 9 000.  Currently, we are wasting time dealing with coal and yet we know that coal is one of the dirtiest energies that the whole world is condemning and the whole world is moving towards green energies.  One of the green energies is that coal bed methane which could be of advantage to us if we explored it and like I indicated, is the energy of the future.  Mr. Speaker, the millennium development goals requires that by 2030 world over, all countries must aspire to have an energy mix, it has at least more than 90% green energy….

HON. MUCHIMWE:  On a point of order.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Muchimwe, can you be orderly and listen to the contribution by Hon. Gabbuza?  Please proceed.

HON. GABBUZA:   Mr. Speaker, I was indicating that once we develop that sector, we are automatically moving into the world requirement of having a better energy mix with a lot of green energies provided by the coal bed methane gas powered energy station.  What are the problems at Lupane?  I think there are four critical problems that the Government must address.  Since 2000 when Dr. Paul Tromp, a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe discovered the availability of coal bed methane in the Zambezi very little has been done.  Studies have indicated that we need to verify the quantities before any investor can come.  We need to verify the quantities of the gas underground.  How do you do that?  You have to sink several boreholes and to date, only five boreholes were sunk to establish how much but we need a lot more than that.

The last financial figures since 2000 if I remember very well, it was that the country required just US$5 million to try, establish and to verify the quantities of gas that exist in Lupane but since 2000 Mr. Speaker, this country has failed to raise US$5 million which I do not think is correct.  We have just not been interested because there is no way as a country we can fail to raise US$5 million for such an important project.  Look at Muzarabani; for that verification of the existence of oil in that area, we need just US$11 million and Government has not been able to provide US$11 million to establish that.  How much is US$11 million?  If it was in my part of the country, it is about 10 elephants to get US$5 million to do the Lupane.  So it is not a question of not really failing to raise the US$5 million but just lack of interest or maybe failure to understand the importance of that.

Secondly, one of our major problems as a country is the failure to read the international development trends.  What do I mean by that?  Mr. Speaker, the whole world is moving into green energy but we are moving going to where others are coming from leaving this very important issue.  There are so many examples that we can cite where our Government has failed to understand the world trends.  When everyone else was going into cellphones, the Government was busy building the sorting office for letters at the airport there and now it has become white elephant.  They were busy building a lot of post offices all over – new post offices like Lupane, Siyazunde and every other district and all have become white elephants because we did not read the world trends where the world was going.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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