SERIOUSLY depleted nostro accounts have derailed progress in the refurbishment of the Kariba South Power Station.
BY Elias Mambo
This emerged at a tour by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy yesterday, where legislators questioned the time the project was taking to be completed.
“We have a challenge of foreign currency and this has led to delays in the procurement of equipment, which is being used in the construction of the power station,” Kenneth Maswera, the general manager at the power station, said.
In an interview, Zesa group CEO, Josh Chifamba said legislators should appreciate the role the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) was playing in making sure the country gets adequate power.
“The tour is crucial because it helps Zimbabweans (represented by MPs) to appreciate the role ZPC is playing in making sure that there is no blackout in the country,” he said.
Chifamba also explained to the legislators how the water levels affect power production.
Currently, the plant produces 750 megawatts (MW) and two stations are being constructed with the aim of increasing output to a combined 1 050MW on completion.
“This year, Zimbabwe has been allocated 15 billion cubic metres of water due to the rise in the lake water level,” the Zesa boss said.
Legislators, however, questioned the cost of the refurbishment, which currently stands at $533 million.
“Maybe you should explain the costs of the expansion so that the honourable members may understand,” committee chairperson, Daniel Shumba said.
ZPC officials said the project was put to tender and Syno-hydro, which won the tender had offered the lowest price.
The first phase of the expansion, which will produce 150MW, is expected to be commissioned by end of December this year while the second section will be completed by March 2018.