NAMIBIAN power utility NamPower has expressed interest in rehabilitating Harare and Bulawayo thermal power stations at an estimated cost of US$175 million.The interest was expressed through a delegation from Namibia that was in the country in August this year. "The Harare re-powering project went to tender earlier this year and is currently at the adjudication phase," Zimbabwe Power Company said in a statement.
"To show their commitment, NamPower has since appointed a consultant to carry out a due diligence study on the project. Should the Government and the Namibian government agree on terms for funding, then an agreement will be signed by end of this year."
NamPower provided a US$40 million loan for rehabilitation of Hwange Thermal Power Station in 2007. Under the arrangement, Zimbabwe repaid the loan through power supplies and the debt would be cleared by end of this month, said ZPC.
Last Friday, ZPC managing director Mr Noah Gwariro told journalists during a tour of the Harare Power Station that the rehabilitation would see HPS doubling its capacity to 120 megawatts while Bulawayo will increase capacity from 30MW to 90MW.
The full rehabilitation of Harare and Bulawayo would costs US$85 million and US$90 million respectively, Mr Gwariro said. The re-powering project will see the replacement of the current boiler technology with circulating fluidised bed which is more efficient and cost effective. Both projects will take about 24 months to complete.
In an update on the power situation in the country, Mr Gwariro said the country was experiencing a shortfall of 1 000MW at peak periods.
He said Zimbabwe has reliable capacity of 1 320MW against a demand of 2 200MW. The shortfall is covered by power imports, mainly from Mozambique and load shedding.
On expansion projects, the US$400 million Kariba Power Station was on course. The design reviews would be completed before the end of this month. Feasibility studies at Gairezi have been completed. The 30MW project will require at least US$105 million. ZPC also intends to extend the lifespan of Hwange Power Station by additional 30 years at a cost of US$500 million.