Written by Faraja Mgwabati Daily News 7 January 2010 FIFTEEN firms have showninterest to invest in the Mchuchuma Coal Mine, the National Development Corporation (NDC) announced today. NDC Managing Director, Gideon Nassari, said the process of scouting for a reliable investor has already began and was scheduled to be concluded in June, this year. For more than a decade now, the government has been looking for reliable investors for the mine located in Ludewa District, Iringa Region, said to be the largest coal deposit in the country. Mchuchuma Coal Mine is expected to solve electricity problems in the country, by producing 600MW and openup an opportunity for extraction of Liganga Iron Ore, which is 50 kilometers from Mchuchuma. Mr Nassari told the 'Daily News' today that the corporation announced the Request For Qualification (RFQ) last month and that already 15 companies had until today applied. Mr Nassari said the deadline for the submission of RFQ would be January 25, after which NDC would shortlist the applicants. "Shortlisted applicants would later be required to present their proposals after visiting the site," he said He said the RFP would take about three months and there after proposals would be taken to the High Level Government Committee, which is led by the commissioner of mineral for advice and later to the Cabinet for the final decision. He said the aim was to get reliable investor, with the best track record in dealing with big projects, such as those of Mchuchuma and Liganga. He added that Mchuchuma and Liganga are integrated projects, that require a lot of investment in infrastructures such as road and railway lines to connect the two. The extraction of Liganga Iron Ore would depend on completion of Mchuchuma since melting of iron would need excessive heat from coal, with the former expected to be a major stimulus for primary metal industries in the country. According to NDC, activities before the commencement of the investment had already been completed, including sensitization programmes to people living in the areas on the benefit of the project. Other activities, he said, included setting up dermacations for the two projects and preparation of Land Use Plan to enable farmers and livestock keepers to understand their boundaries.