The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), a subsidiary of Zesa, is planning to conduct public hearings on the possible environmental effects of its proposed expansion of Hwange and Kariba power stations.
Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira said the public hearings, scheduled for July 28 to August 2, would inform the power utility’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) programme.
“These hearings are important in that they constitute the first step in the EIA programme as we want to establish the effects of the expansion to the communities that are directly affected.
“In Kariba we have to understand how expanding the power station will affect the fishing communities there.
We need to do these consultations so that if there is any need for adjustments here and there, we can consider them,” he said.
Hwange Power Station is the country’s biggest contributing 920 megawatts (MW) to the country’s power grid, and the Kariba South Power Station is the second biggest, generating 750MW.
The expansion projects will see an additional two units that produce 300MW each and two in Kariba that produce 150MW each.
The hearing on Hwange Power Station will be held at Edmund Davies Hall in the coal-mining town and the hearing on Kariba will be held at Chaminuka Stadium.
“ZPC intends to undertake these projects and wishes that all stakeholders will attend and put on board their inputs so as to mitigate against any environmental, social and economic impacts,” Gwasira said.
“There is a bit of work that has already been done in both Kariba and Hwange. In Hwange a cooling tower has already been constructed. The expansion projects started in April with the signing of an agreement with H Africa, an engineering company. The company is doing feasibility studies. In June we engaged KPMG for the financing. The next step will be the expression of interest in constructing the projects by local, regional and international companies. Actual construction will start after this stage after we have chosen the better company.”