THE Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) says expansion of Kariba Power Station, expected to add 300 megawatts into the national grid, is now 39% complete.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
The $533 million expansion project, which includes development costs to be met by ZPC, is being undertaken by a Chinese firm, Sino Hydro and is targeted for completion by 2018.
To date, China Exim Bank has disbursed about $100 million, which is the project’s first tranche under the engineering procurement contract (EPC) valued at $354 million.
According to a paper presented at a consultative meeting in Bulawayo recently, ZPC said a number of projects it was carrying out were on course.
“The Zimbabwe Power Company is undertaking a number of projects to address power challenges in the country. With the Kariba extension project, the construction in on schedule and is now 39% complete,” said ZPC executive assistant Douglas Chingoka.
Last year, ZPC managing director Noah Gwariro, disclosed that the power generation company had completed the drilling and blasting of four access tunnels. He said drilling and blasting was in progress to create the underground powerhouse and the head race tunnels, which would direct water from the lake to the turbines.
On the Hwange extension project, Chingoka said the initial activities were in progress and working towards financial closure for the main engineering, procurement and construction works. The project, if completed, would add 600MW into the national grid.
On the Batoka project which is expected to add 1 200MW, Chingoka said feasibility studies were in progress.
Chingoka said scoping studies for stage one units and stage twoturbines were concluded at the Hwange plant. The project would add 920MW when completed.
ZPC is also running solar projects around the country. Chingoka said EPC contracts were signed for the three projects’ sites and feasibility studies were in progress.
Since Friday last week, ZPC was generating 718MW against the national demand of about 2 200MW.
Hwange and Kariba were producing 325MW and 315MW respectively.
Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo were generating combined electricity of 78MW.