Cabinet on Tuesday approved a $230 million power deal between Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and an Indian firm, Wapcos Limited, to revamp boilers at three thermal power stations in the country.
Energy and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma told NewsDay that Cabinet deliberated on the issue and gave it a nod.
“We discussed the issue in Cabinet today (Tuesday) and it was approved. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed and what was left was for Cabinet to approve the process and it was approved”, said Mangoma.
“Essentially, the deal involves revamping boilers at the three power stations to increase power generation,” he said.
Asked on the timeframe of the project, Mangoma said experts would have to work that out, but would not disclose when the MoU was signed.
ZPC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zesa Holdings and is responsible for the generation of electricity and other energy-related services.
The thermal stations include Bulawayo, Hwange and Munyati.
The deal also involves a feasibility study for the Gairezi Hydro-Power Station and upgrading the Deka Pumping Station for Hwange Power Station.
Wapcos is an accredited public sector enterprise under India’s Union Ministry of Water Resource.
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing severe power supply problems most of which emanate from years of lack of investment in power generation as well as antiquated equipment at its major plants.
Zimbabwe’s maximum power demand stands at 2 100 megawatts (MW) against internal dependable capacity of 1 700MW from Kariba Hydro-Electric Plant and several other thermal plants dotted around the country, with imports power imports from the region bridging the gap.
Zesa, which has now resorted to an average eight-hour-long daily load-shedding regime, attributes the power crisis to depressed generation capacity in Zimbabwe and reduced capacity to import.
This story was erroneously omitted in yesterdays’ issue. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.