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Cabinet approves 300MW thermal plant

Business Section

By Mbongiseni Ndzimandze - SWAZILAND OBSERVER-25-Sep-2009

CABINET has approved the programme for the construction of a 300 MW thermal power plant. This is contained in the cabinet decision paper made on Tuesday

Other things that have been approved by cabinet include amongst others, rural finance enterprise development, engagement of consultants for the detailed design phase of the mini-micro hydro power plant at Mnjoli Dam, development of coal-fired power station for national security and the United Nations Population Fund meeting.

On the development of a coal-fired station for national security, it is stated that this project will utilise local coal resources, and will create and improve job opportunities in local mining sector. “Commissioning of this project is set for 2013 and a detailed report on the operations of this programme can be assessed from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy,” reads part of the cabinet report. Also approved was the Rural Finance and Enterprise Development Programme Bill, which will establish rural finance and development programme.

It is stated that once approved by Parliament, it is anticipated that the bill will create financing avenues for sectors of society, especially the rural areas currently covered by the banking sector. “Micro financing institutions will be utilised as vehicles for availing for small business ventures, to the poor at affordable terms. “A smart card system will be introduced for use by clients to access loans at local levels,” states the report. It is also stated that in an endeavour to increase the amount of locally generated electricity cabinet has approved the designing of mini-micro hydro power plant to be installed at the Mnjoli Dam.

It is further disclosed that hydro power is preferred as it is clean and user friendly. The cabinet also approved the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) programme which will run from next Tuesday to Friday. The meeting will be hosted at the Royal Swazi Sun Hotel in Ezulwini.

“Among other things the meeting will discuss ways of enhancing aid, making it more effective, especially in developing countries,” reads part of the cabinet paper. The basis of the meeting is the 2005 Paris Declaration, which introduced the National Execution (NEX) Funding Modality - whose aim is empowering development programme and projects and 40 delegates outside Swaziland are expected to attend the meeting.

A detailed report on this meeting can also be accessed from the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development.

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