19 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Kariba Power Expansion Contract Due for Signing

Photo: Ed Mckenna/IPS
An electricity pylon being repaired.

THE contract between the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and Chinese firm Sino Hydro Corporation Limited for the expansion of the Kariba South power plant is to be signed today,

The Financial Gazette's Companies & Markets (C&M) has been established. Energy and Power Development Minister, Elton Mangoma said on Monday the signing ceremony, to be held at the Rainbow Towers hotel, will pave way for the expansion project to start.

"Well, that's the plan and if nothing urgent crops up, we will sail as planned and have the contract signed on Thursday. We are on target and the extension of the Kariba South Power Plant will be bound by this contract to be signed by representatives from ZPC and Sino Hydro Corporation. What will be left will be for Sino Hydro Corporation to deliver what it promised," Mangoma told C&M.

Kariba Power Station is currently using six units and the extension will see the plant adding two units which would increase electricity generation capacity by 300mw.

In October, Sino Hydro Corporation was given back the Kariba South power plant extension tender after it protested the State Procurement Board (SPB)'s decision to cancel the tender.

The SPB had cancelled the tender saying Sino Hydro Corporation had failed to meet the tender requirements.

The Chinese firm claimed the project was not open to tender after it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Treasury in 2010.

Its project is worth US$368 million.

Sino Hydro Corporation is also in the final stages of the bidding process for Hwange Thermal Power station's expansion.

The extension of Hwange Power plant will see the station adding two units which would have a combined generation capacity of 600MW.

It tendered its bid price at US$1,17billion while another Chinese firm China National Machinery Corporation's bid was US$1.38billion.

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

Zimbabwe's current generation is estimated to be around 1200MW against a peak demand of 2200MW.

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