Zimbabwe Economic News: Hilton Hotel Harare, EU to Invest in Zim Biogas Project, 2 mln Tourists Expected to Visit Zim Next Year

Here is a quick roundup of Zimbabwe's economic news making the headlines in the local media as compiled by ZDDT:

Construction of Hilton Hotel in Harare to Begin in October

Construction of the $160 ml Hilton Hotel and office complex along Samora Machel Avenue in Eastlea is set to begin in October, Harare Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi has said. The development, which has been touted as the Melrose Arch of Zimbabwe because of its similarity in terms of size and beauty to the one in Johannesburg, South Africa, comes with a 12-storey, 275-bed hotel, 3 office complexes and residential apartments - Herald, Monday June 10

EU Sets to Invest in Zim Biogas Project

The European Union has expressed interest establishing $1 mln biogas plant in Mbare as government turns to renewable energy to tackle the perennial energy crisis. Speaking at a two-day conference on energy efficiency and renewable energy, Energy and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma said government had plans to re-introduce biogas, which is currently being used on a small scale.

The permanent secretary in the Energy ministry said it took government a long time to start working on the biogas plant in Mbare.

Meanwhile, Mangoma said the restructuring of the power utility was expected to be complete this month - NewsDay, Monday June 10

2 mln Tourists Expected to Visit Zim Next Year

At least 2 mln international visitors are expected in Zimbabwe next year, with some spending at least a day at Victoria Falls, Sharon Hudson-Dean, the US Embassy Public Afairs head has said adding that one third of those will be Americans - Daily News, Monday June

Zim set to manufacture insulin: Zimbabwe could soon be producing insulin locally after investors from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) expressed interest in partnering local pharmaceutical companies in manufacturing the drug that is critical to the survival of diabetics. The Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare Douglas Mombeshora last week told local pharmaceutical sector representatives who had sought audience with him that a number of UAE investors had expressed interest in the venture - Sunday Mail, June 9

Chinese Bank to Finance Power Generation

The Zimbabwe Power Company is in talks with a Chinese Bank keen to finance the expansion of Hwange Power Station, permanent secretary in the, ministry of Energy and Power Development Partson Mbiriri has said  adding that the Chinese Bank was prepared to take equity up to 40% to bankroll the construction of 2 additional units of 300MW each - Standard, Sunday June 9

IPPs Set to Join the Power Supply Sector

Independent Power Producers will soon be afforded the opportunity to enter the power supply sector in order to increase the country's power generating capacity, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority CEO Gloria Magombo has said adding this would be done when authorities complete the current cost of supply study aimed at offering competitive tariffs at the end of June this year - Standard, Sunday June 9

Tobacco Sales Surpass 2012 Final Output

Flue-Cured tobacco sales have now reached 146 mln kilogrammes, surpassing the 2012 final output of 144.5 mln kilogrammes. During the corresponding 80th day in 2012 more than 117 mln kg had been sold.

So far, farmers have earned a total of $538 mln from the sale of the golden leaf while burley tobacco sales have raked in $267 663 from the sale of 177 248kg.

At the same time last year 9 413kg of burley tobacco had been sold with farmers pocketing $22 165. Latest statistics from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board indicate that prevailing prices at selling points have remained stable. The 2013 seasonal average price, the TIMB said, is likely going to slide down below the $3,70 per kg as the least quality crop continues to dominate the market - Herald, Wednesday June 12

US, Canada Lead Tourist Arrivals

The United States of America and Canada continue to be the leading tourism source markets contributing 93% of arrival shares to the country in the first quarter of 2013, according to statistics released by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.

The US contributed 83% while Canada accounted for 10%. With the exception of the United States, in absolute figures all American markets recorded marginal changes with the Caribbean islands and Mexico falling by 45% and 43% respectively while registering declines of 32% and 15% arrivals in absolute numbers - Herald, Wednesday June 12