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Work on Chinese-funded mega projects in Tanzania to begin this year

Updated: 2015-05-27 10:20

DAR ES SALAAM -- Tanzania will begin building a port and mega mining projects before the end of this year, with funding from China, the minister of industry and trade has said, as the East African nation is stepping up its industrialization.

The $2.7 billion Mchuchuma coal mining and Liganga iron ore mining projects, funded by China's Sichuan Hongda Corporation Ltd., will be "the largest industrial investment project to be registered in Tanzania since the country attained independence in 1961", Abdallah Kigoda said on Tuesday.

"Everything has been completed. We are only waiting for the arrival of construction equipment and machinery," the minister told parliament in Dodoma.

The Mchuchuma project is estimated to bear 540 million tons of coal deposits, which will be able to produce 600 megawatts (MW) of electricity for a period of over 100 years.

Kigoda said that, of the electricity, 250MW will be used for the Liganga iron ore mining project while the remaining 350MW will be injected into the national grid.

He added that a total of 32,000 people will be employed at the two projects.

The Sichuan Hongda group has established a firm named Tanzania China International Mineral Resources Ltd., in partnership with Tanzania's National Development Corporation Ltd., according to the minister.

Another grand project that is to start this year, is the construction of a port and a special economic zone in the coastal town of Bagamoyo, said Kigoda.

He said the $11 billion port project will be jointly funded by Oman's State General Reserve Fund and the China Merchants Holding International, a major port and free zone operator.

In Dar es Salaam, work on a Tanzania and China logistic center at Kurasini area is also scheduled to start this year, the minister added.

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