The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) has started receiving bids for the expansion of Kariba South and Hwange power stations as it seeks to boost the country’s power generation capacity.
The country’s total installed capacity amounts to 1 960 megawatts (MW) against a national demand estimated at 2 200MW.
According to the recently launched Medium-Term Plan, the availability of adequate and reliable energy is critical attainment of economic recovery, growth and transformation.
Zesa group chief executive officer Josh Chifamba told NewsDay yesterday: “We are in the prequalification process and bids are coming through. It’s promising now that we are receiving responses from people.”
Chifamba told the media in May that the power utility required in excess of $1 billion in the medium term to increase power generation by 600MW at Hwange Power Station.
“The challenge that we have as a business is that we do not have enough internal (power) generation capacity. There is indeed a market for power in this country, but one quality of a good market is where people are able to pay their bills,” said Chifamba.
“We will be looking at increasing Hwange Power Station generation capacity by an additional 600 megawatts on top of the 900 megawatts we currently have. This will cost us about $1 billion. We will also install two generators at the Kariba South project.”
Last week Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Joseph Kanyekanye said capacity utilisation in industry would remain depressed in the absence of a defined long-term viable and consistent solution to the electricity shortages affecting the country.
Kanyekanye said the shortage of reliable electricity has become a major threat to industry’s revival.
“People in industry are happy when there is a plan for electricity. It seems there is no plan for electricity shortage in this country,” he said.
“Government should allow private companies to import power. The current power situation has largely remained pathetic.”