14 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Power Company to Maximise on Power Generation

ZIMBABWE Power Company says it will continue building electricity generating plants until supply exceeds demand. ZPC managing director Mr Noah Gwariro was speaking after the State Procurement Board last week awarded SinoHydro a tender for the expansion of Kariba South power station. The project is expected to add 300MW to the national grid.

That would be enough to cater for more than half of Harare or the whole of Bulawayo.

The amount of electricity could cover at least five smaller towns like Gweru, Kwekwe, Mutare, Masvingo and Chinhoyi.

"We need to maximise generating capacity because the objective is to have our electricity supply exceeding demand," said Mr Gwariro.

"Since demand will still be growing, the idea is to continue building plants so that we meet it." The Kariba South power station project is expected to take about four years to complete.

Kariba Hydro Power Station would then generate 1 050MW at peak, said Mr Gwariro. He said ZPC did not play any role in the initial cancellation of the tender for the expansion of Kariba South power station.

Mr Gwariro said it was the SPB that cancelled the tender despite recommendations for sole bidder to the tender. SinoHydro was the sole bidder to the tender.

He said ZPC would negotiate a contract with SinoHydro before the end of the year. The project would be completed in at least four years.

In the short-term, Mr Gwariro said the power utility was working on re-powering small thermal stations among them Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo, with a combined generation capacity of 280 megawatts.

He said contracts for refurbishment of the three plants were expected to be signed at the end of next year. The projects were expected to take about two-and-a-half years to complete.

Mr Gwariro said the tender for the expansion of Hwange Power Station would be flighted next year for an additional 600 megawatts.

He said ZPC was doing topographical survey and environmental and social impact assessment at the 30MW mini-hydro power plant at Gairezi in Nyanga.

He said a contract for the project was expected to be signed mid next year. All the projects would add 1 200MW to the national grid, taking the national generation capacity to 2 400MW.

At the moment 1 200MW is being generated against national demand of 2 200MW. Some of the power is imported from neighbouring countries.

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