14 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Two Bidders for Hwange Power Plant

THE State Procurement Board (SPB) has narrowed down to two the list of bidders vying for the Hwange Power Station's expansion, it has been established.

Chinese companies Sino Hydro Corporation Limited and China National Machinery Corporation will now enter the final stages of the bidding process.

The Financial Gazette's Companies & Markets can reveal that Sino Hydro Corporation tendered its bid price at US$1,17 billion, while China National Machinery Corporation bid was at US$1,38 billion.

The preferred bidder will be announced by January 2013 after evaluating their commercial price and contract terms.

Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC)'s managing director, Engineer Noah Gwariro, last Friday confirmed the development.

"We are almost at the end of the tendering process and I can confirm that at this point in time, we have two remaining bidders whose papers are still being looked into by the SPB. These are Sino Hydro Corporation Limited and China National Machinery Corporation," said Gwariro.

"We are aiming to conclude the contract negotiations by the end of January next year. That will help us to move on and organise the funding and get the work started. I firmly believe that work at Hwange Power Station will start during the course of next year," said Gwariro.

Hwange Power Station is currently using six units and the expansion will see the station adding two units.

The additional units will have a combined generation capacity of 600 megawatts (MW).

Last month, Sino Hydro Corporation Limited was awarded the Kariba South Hydro Electric Power plant extension tender.

Ironically, the SPB had initially cancelled the tender saying the firm had failed to meet the tender requirements.

However, Sino Hydro protested the decision, saying the project was not open to tender because of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with Treasury in 2010.The extension of Kariba South Power station will add a combined 300MW from two units to the national grid.Currently, national power demand is estimated to be at 2 200MW, against available generation of around 1 200MW, with additional 100MW being imported from neighbouring countries and

installed capacity amounting to 1 960MW.

Meanwhile, all ZPC's power stations have been awarded ISO Quality Management system 9001:2008 certification.

Zimbabwe's biggest coal-fired power station, Hwange Power Station, recently received its ISO 9001:2008 certification, while Kariba and Bulawayo power stations were certified last year.

Munyati Power station has also been certified and will receive its certificate before the end of the year.

Harare Power Station was re-certified this year and received the certification last week.

The station was first certified in 2002 but operational challenges forced its closure in 2005. It was re-opened in 2011.

Engineer Gwariro said it took a lot of commitment from ZPC workers to achieve the ISO Quality Management system certification, adding that the certification assured their customers that they would continue to provide consistent service.

"It's true that Harare Power station has been re-certified. It was quite a lot of commitment to get people prepared to write their procedures and follow them, get audited to confirm that we are now working according to our written procedures.

It reassures our customers that we will be able to continue to provide consistent service," said Gwariro in an interview last week.

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