Finanace minister Tendai Biti says Power and Energy Development minister Elton Mangoma is in “advanced negotiations” with investors for projects to extend Hwange and Kariba power stations, which could add 500 megawatts (MW) to the national grid by 2015.
Government, with support from the African Development Bank, also plans to spend at least $100 million on the rehabilitation of Hwange and Kariba power plants and three small thermal stations in Bulawayo, Harare and Munyati next year to increase power generation to 1 650 MW.
National power demand is currently estimated at about 2 200 MW against available generation capacity of around 1 200 MW and installed capacity of 1 960 MW.
“The Minister of Power and Energy Development is in advanced negotiations with investors over Hwange 7 and 8 and Kariba South Extension to increase increase generation capacity at the power stations,” Biti said.
“I am (also) pleased to acknowledge Zim-Fund, which is coordinated by the African Development Bank, will also support to rehabilitate portions of the power supply network in Zimbabwe through undertaking selective rehabilitation of the Hwange Thermal Power Plant to the extent of $30 million over a two-year period.”
From the $100 million envelope, Treasury plans to commit $12 million to Kariba South to increase generation potential to 750 MW from 650 MW at present.
Hwange Power Station, with an installed capacity of 920 MW, will get $25 million for the rehabilitation of the power plant, while Zesa will provide $31,5 million for the upgrading and refurbishment of auxiliary services at the station.
The power station is currently producing 750 MW.
The power station however needs $100 million to complete all the required refurbishments and upgrades, which include Hwange stage 11 turbines, Deka pumping station water reservoirs and treatment plant, coal plant front loaders and ash plant pumps.
The Munyati Power Station is currently producing 30 MW against installed capacity of 100 MW.
Harare Power Station is expected to increase output to 40 MW in 2011 after the envisaged injection of capital.