- The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has announced plans to finance a $ 3 billion (Rant 43 billion) coal-fired power plant in Zimbabwe.
- This will hurt African coal developers.
- ICBC’s support was seen by Rio Energy as a new start in a plan to develop the plant and end the repeated blackouts in Zimbabwe.
China’s largest bank has announced plans to fund a $ 3 billion (Rant 43 billion) coal-fired power plant in Zimbabwe, seeing Asian countries as the last potential funders of the project in Africa Has hit the coal developers in Japan.
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has told Go Clean ICBC, a temporary agency representing 32 environmental groups, that it will not fund the 2,800-megawatt Sengwa coal project in northern Zimbabwe. Send to 350.org, one of the GoClean groups. ICBC did not immediately respond to the request for comment.
Banks in West Africa and South Africa are under increasing pressure from shareholders not to fund developments that may contribute to climate change, making Chinese lenders one of the last resorts to secure funding. I will. If China plans to improve its environmental certification, the door may now be closed.
“This is clearly very important not only for Zimbabwe, but also for China’s foreign energy lending,” said Lauri Millivirta, chief analyst at the Energy and Clean Air Research Center. “As far as I know, this is the first time a Chinese bank has actively withdrawn from a coal-fired power project.”
The Sengwa project was developed by Rio Energy, a unit of Rio Zim. Rio Energy Chairman Caleb Deng signed a formal notice last year that the ICBC is interested in funding a plant built by Gezhouba Group of China, saying the relevant transmission lines will be built by Power Construction Corporation of China. ..
The ICBC withdrawal is the second time a bank’s coal financing program has been abolished. The permit to build a coal-fired power plant in Lamb, Kenya was revoked by the government last year.
The ICBC described Sengwa as “a bad plan due to environmental problems,” 350. Org said in an email.
Chinese lenders have been scrutinized for the environmental impact of funding coal projects and are in talks with the coalition to “create a clear roadmap to stop funding coal.” Go Clean ICBC said in an email. Nathalia Clark, Associate Director of Global Communications at 350.org, didn’t give details.
The coalition had planned to launch a global campaign against creditors’ coal activity last week, but it was suspended after the ICBC said it would stop its involvement.
Over the past two decades, the Bank of China Development and the Bank of China Export-Import have funded over $ 50 billion in coal projects in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America, according to a study by the Center for Global Development Policy at Boston University. .. The plan proposed last year will make it more difficult for the so-called Belt and Road Initiative to fund environmentally damaging projects such as coal-fired power plants and metal smelters.
While Xi Jinping president in September walked the road to zero carbon emissions by 2060, a plan to increase the coal consumption up to 2026, an important part of the energy mix of fuel is 10 years countries later It is expected to continue to be.
Rio Energy is looking for an alternative lender said by someone who is directly aware of the issue, asking it not to be identified, as the ICBC withdrawal has not been officially announced. Simba Mhuriro, general manager of Rio Energy, said he was not familiar with the issue and could not comment. Rio Zim spokesman Wilson Gwatiringa also declined to comment. Zimbabwe’s mining minister, Winston Titanium, said he was unaware of the ICBC’s decision.
Sengwa was initially owned by Rio Zim’s former parent, the London-based miner Rio Tinto Group. It was set aside as Zimbabwe’s relationship with former colonial ruler Britain deteriorated. After the project revived in 2016, General Electric and Blackstone Group units did not pursue the first inquiry.
ICBC’s support was seen by Rio Energy as a new start in a plan to develop the plant and end the repeated blackouts in Zimbabwe. Climate change activists say the company has a hard time finding another funder.
Robin Hugo, director of climate change engagement at JustShare, a group of shareholder activists based in Cape Town, said: “There is no reason to consider a new coal-fired project, and all plans to do so are likely to be strongly opposed,” he said.
China’s largest bank ditch R430bnZim coal-fired power plant
Source link China’s largest bank ditch R430bnZim coal-fired power plant