Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

Sable to raise $200 million for coal bed methane project

Sable to raise $200 million for coal bed methane project


president manngagwa tour sable

Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Correspondent
SABLE Chemical Industries, the country’s sole producer of Ammonium Nitrate, is set to embark on a project to set up a $200 million fertiliser manufacturing plant which uses Coal Bed Methane (CBM).

Speaking during the tour of the company by President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday, Board Chairman Mr Shingai Mutasa said the company was working on raising $200 million to fund the coal bed methane project which will enable the Kwekwe based fertiliser manufacturing company to operate at full capacity.

CMB is a method for extracting methane from a coal deposit through a process called steam reforming. Methane absorbed into a solid coal matrix will be released if the coal seam is depressurised and hydrogen will be extracted.

The company, a joint venture between Chemplex Corporation and TA Holdings recently announced that it had done feasibility studies of adopting a new technology which will use CBM.

CBM will generate electricity once commissioned which will be fed into the national grid unlike the current electrolysis plant which was set up in 1972 which has become expensive to run due to antiquated machinery.

Mr Mutasa said once the project was complete, the company will produce more than 240 000 tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate (AN) annually, which is enough for the Agricultural sector.

“We are grateful to his Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa for coming to tour this plant. I would want to take this opportunity to announce that we are committed to raising more than $ 200 million for the coal bed methane project. We switched off our electrolysis plant which was obsolete and consuming more power.

“We want Government support to be able to embark on this project. We will be able to produce 240 000 tonnes of AN annually once the project is complete. We will also be producing ammonium solution which is a key component in the production of explosives,” he said.

The Kwekwe-based company switched off its electrolysis plant and was importing Ammonia from South Africa that would be fed into the AN manufacturing plant which has the energy consumption capacity of 10 megawatts (MW) compared to 115 MW consumed by the electrolysis plant.

At its peak the company’s electrolysis plant used to consume about 12 percent of energy produced by Zesa.

The country has during the past few years been forced to import fertiliser as the local companies were failing to meet demand.

The low yields being recorded by farmers are largely as a result of either shortage of the fertiliser or late delivery of the commodity.

Sable Chemical Industries employees 300 workers.


New Posts: