General Electric looks to invest in Zimbabwe energy sector

U.S.-based multinational conglomerate General Electric (GE) has set its sights on investing in Zimbabwe’s energy sector, specifically its Batoka Hydro Power plant project.

The company’s top executives this week appeared before parliament’s committee on mines and energy and expressed their willingness to invest in aviation, locomotives, power and healthcare.

They included Serame Toukobong, the chief marketing officer of GE global operations for sub-Saharan Africa, director of project development Reginald Max and risk leader for Africa Todd Johnson.

“We want to provide financial and technical support to the government,” Max said.

“Zimbabwe is facing challenges because of limited financial resources. As a Zimbabwean I know my country is generally misunderstood. We want to demonstrate to the world that there are opportunities in Zimbabwe.”

GE has a presence in Angola, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, among other African countries.

Max said he was optimist that GE’s goodwill visit would culminate in investment opportunities.

“We want to engage in the Batoka Power Plant, which is a game-changer for Zimbabwe. We also want to install mini hydro-power stations because Zimbabwe is blessed with a large density of dams,” Max said.

The proposed US$1.6 billion station is expected to generate 1,600MW of hydroelectric power from the Zambezi river which runs between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Max said GE had supplied turbines and generators and played a key role in the rehabilitation and refurbishment of the Kariba South power station. It has also worked at Hwange Power Station in close partnership with power utility Zesa Holdings.

Since 2001, the United States has imposed financial and travel sanctions against key officials from the ruling ZANU-PF party over charges of rights abuses, but its government works to highlight opportunities for trade and investment that will benefit U.S. and Zimbabwean businesses alike.

It provides guidance to U.S. businesses about how they can take advantage of opportunities in Zimbabwe while complying with U.S. law.

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